What could be causing my older dog’s cough?

Original Question: My dog Spike will be 17 in August. I had his teeth removed 2 years ago because of infection. He is on a low protein diet and seems to be in good health except for his eyesight and hearing. My concern is he has a cough that seems to get worse during the night. I am wondering what could be the cause. - Joy

What could be causing my older dog’s cough? Jun 10, 2017

Hi Joy,

The age of 17 sure is a great number of years for Spike to be with you. First off, I would recommend an exam with your veterinarian. A cough could be due to a number of issues involving the heart. Some dogs get a fibrosis of the lungs as they age and that prevents normal expansion of the airways, something like this may be worsened with varying temperature and humidity levels such as those changes which occur at night. With any older pet, we also want to rule out cancer and kidney disease, among other chronic diseases.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Ryan Llera

Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

Related Q&A

  • Do you recommend a stool test for my dog who is on a raw food diet?
  • Answered by: Dennis Chmiel, DVM, MBA
  • Nov 25, 2020
  • Do small or large breed dogs have more problems with their teeth?
  • Answered by: Jeanne Perrone, MS, CVT, VTS (Dentistry)
  • Sep 5, 2020
  • How do dogs contract leptospirosis and how can it be prevented?
  • Answered by: Dr. Alex Avery, BVSc
  • Jun 21, 2019
  • What is the best diet to feed a dog?
  • Answered by: Dr. Alex Avery, BVSc
  • Jun 21, 2019