Dog Cough Remedy Suggestion

by Sharna
(Carmel, CA)

My Sheltie had her vocal chords cut as a puppy before we adopted her. Her voice did return after about 3 years but with a softer and quieter volume.

She is now 11 and often coughs and sounds as if she is clearing her throat or trying to remove something stuck in her throat. The vet thinks this might be caused by scar tissue from that long ago procedure as she is healthy otherwise.

Allergy season seems to exacerbate the coughing and gagging. Sometimes she is fine for hours. Other times she goes through the process multiple times in an hour.

What medicine (over the counter or homeopathic) should I use to soothe her irritated throat for the long term?

Vet Suggestion Dog Cough Remedies


Before I can recommend any type of symptomatic treatment for your dog’s cough, I want to make sure that all of the causes of coughing have been eliminated.

Does she have a recent negative heartworm test and is she on a monthly heartworm preventative?

Do her heart and lungs sound normal on physical exam and look normal on a chest x-ray?

Has your vet discussed doing a transtracheal wash or bronchoalveolar lavage with you?

These tests look for abnormal cells in the respiratory tract that can be evidence of infection, inflammation, cancer, etc.

I am hesitant to assume that nine years after your dog’s vocal cord severance, she is only now showing the effects of scar tissue, although this is certainly possible.

The best treatment for your dog’s cough would be aimed at its underlying cause. Over-the-counter cough suppressants are not very effective in dogs.

Most homeopathic remedies are aimed at particular conditions versus coughing in general, but it would be safe to try something like KC-Defense if you wanted to.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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Jun 03, 2011
Dog Cough Remedies
by: Sharna

All underlying health issues have been ruled out and she is on a monthly heartworm prophylaxis. The coughing started when her voice returned at about 3 years and has been sporadic, but more common, as she has aged. Thought I should clarify. Thanks.

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