Your assessment results for:

Coughing or wheezing

Urgency level: Possible emergency

Contact an emergency veterinary hospital

What to do next

Contact an emergency hospital ASAP to make arrangements

  • Contact the vet before travelling to ensure they are able to see your pet. They may also need to give you specific instructions. Some regular hospitals may be able to treat your pet.
  • 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 an emergency (coughing is secondary to our main concern)
  • 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 an emergency

Your dog’s history or symptoms indicate a serious underlying condition

  • While coughing on its own is unlikely an emergency, based on the other signs you’ve selected, your dog could have a life-threatening time sensitive condition and requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • Some of the conditions we are concerned about include tracheal collapse and lung damage.


First aid tips

Restrict your dog’s exercise and do not feed them

  • Do not feed your dog unless a veterinarian advises otherwise.
  • 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


Talk to a veterinarian now

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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.