Your assessment results for:

Coughing or Wheezing

Urgency level: High priority

Contact your regular veterinary hospital

What to do next

Contact your regular veterinary hospital ASAP to make arrangements

  • If your regular veterinary hospital is open, contact them now. If they are closed, it is probably safe to wait until morning.
  • During your call, be sure to tell them what else is going on in addition to the coughing (especially if your dog’s gums are an abnormal color). In this case, it is the other symptoms you’ve selected that makes this a high priority situation (coughing is secondary to our main concern)
  • Monitor your dog closely for any new symptoms or changes in behavior. If the dog begins to have difficulty breathing, or becomes very lethargic or non responsive, contact an emergency veterinary hospital right away.
  • Some types of cough are highly contagious to other dogs. Keep your dog away from other dogs. On a similar note, tell the veterinary hospital that your dog is coughing, as they may give you special instructions to minimize the risk of spread.


Why it’s high priority

Concurrent symptoms in addition to coughing indicate underlying condition

  • While your description of your dog’s condition is not an emergency, your dog does require veterinary attention.
  • Changes in energy and eating habits in addition typically indicates an underlying condition. We are concerned about issues with your dog’s airways, lung, and/or heart.


Home care tips

Restrict your dog’s exercise

  • Restrict exercise (only short leashed potty breaks) until you have seen a veterinarian.
  • Avoid using restraints that tighten around the neck (ex. collar). A harness is preferable.
  • Learn more about coughing or wheezing in dogs


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Please note that our Symptoms Assessments and Results are intended for informational purposes only, and not a medical diagnosis. Our goal is to help pet owners make an informed decision about if, when and how urgently they need to seek veterinary care. Using our site should not and does not replace a consultation with a veterinarian.