Canine Coughing

By Stephanie Stephens

Canine Coughing

Your dog makes all sorts of noises, and a lot of them probably sound like human coughs. In fact, a flu-afflicted person is often described as having a "barking" cough. But dogs can actually cough too, often sounding like you do when you're congested and have a cold, or as though they are sneezing in reverse, since they may try to draw in a lot of air instead of forcing it out in a loud "Ah choo!" There are many possible causes for doggy coughing, according to Lynelle Johnson, DVM. She is an associate professor at the University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. Here is her canine coughing compendium, which includes some of the primary causes for dog coughs, along with associated conditions.

  • Kennel cough This illness often results from a combination of viral and bacterial intruders in canine airways. If your dog has a dry, hacking cough, sometimes accompanied by a white, foam-like saliva, it could have kennel cough. The most common airborne bacteria linked to kennel cough tend to spread in close quarters, such as dog kennels, boarding facilities, dog parks or other similar areas. This condition generally lasts one to two weeks and is treated with antibiotics and other prescription medications. Confine your dog until it's recovered to avoid infecting other animals. And if you must go out during your dog's recovery period, try using a harness instead of a collar and leash to discourage coughing reflexes.
  • Chronic bronchitis This illness is characterized by excessive mucus in the airways that is triggered by inflammation. Smoking can cause canine bronchitis, so if you smoke, never do so near your dog. Pollution, dust and grains in the environment can also lead to inflammation. Ask your vet about corticosteroids to treat symptoms.
  • Tracheal collapse This tends to occur in miniature and toy-size dogs that have a flat trachea, instead of a round or "C-shaped," one. "When pressure changes within the airway during respiration, it collapses. Sometimes dogs can get infections or bronchitis in addition to airway collapse," Dr. Johnson says. Treatment may include medication, surgery, or a combination of both.
  • Heart disease Congestive heart failure can cause dogs to accumulate fluid in the lungs, which could lead to coughing, especially at night. Heart enlargement may also cause coughing. Dobermans, Boxers, Cocker Spaniels, and small dogs seem to be more vulnerable to heart disease and related coughing.
  • Fungal infections Fungal infections can cause coughing, breathing difficulty, weight loss and fever. Your dog may require antifungul medications for extended periods, according to Dr. Johnson. Keep canines away from bird coops and droppings, as these can be fungal breeding grounds.
  • Parasites Parasites, such as heartworm and roundworms, may also cause your dog to cough. These may be treated with dewormers, preventative pills and topical medications that your vet can provide.
  • Foreign bodies Dogs can ingest a variety of substances and objects, like sticks or foxtails, which can lead to bouts of coughing. These plants may lodge in the gums or rear of your dog's throat. If that happens, usually a vet's help is needed to remove them.
  • Lung cancer Coughing can be a symptom of this type of cancer, but it is rare in dogs. Nevertheless, it is good to have your veterinarian rule it out as a possibility. Canine lung cancer frequently will metastasize, or spread, from a tumor elsewhere in the body. If your vet suspects that your dog may have this disease, you could be referred to an oncologist, who can provide more specialized treatment.
  • Pneumonia This serious illness is marked by "soft" coughing, heavy breathing and mucus. Pneumonia requires immediate attention, including antibiotics and fluids.
  • Influenza A virus causes the flu, which is a relatively new disease in dogs. It is a very contagious respiratory infection that in its mild form includes coughing. In severe form, signs of pneumonia are present.
  • Distemper Again, coughing may be a sign of this devastating, highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted from an infected dog's respiratory secretions, urine or feces. It is easily prevented by vaccination.

Don't rely on guesswork. If your dog's bark sounds more cough than "ruff," seek an expert's opinion. Your vet can probably help to clear the cough so that soon both you and your dog may breathe a sigh of relief.

Stephanie Stephens is a print and broadcast journalist whose work has appeared in more than 80 publications. She divides her time between California and New Zealand.

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Posted on November 2, 2010

kathy says: do you ever answer posts?

Posted on November 12, 2010

art says: Hey our american cocker spaniel has been congestive and sneezing for about a week. what can it be?

Posted on October 31, 2010

barbara valovic says: i am 70 years old and have an older poodle 14yrs i get very little sleep due to the constant coughing i to have been to the vet and have had many diagonis and medication but nothing helps i wish someone could help me to help him. Help

Posted on October 26, 2010

KS says: I'm about to make an appointment for my little fellow. A rescue and had a very bad case of kennel cough while in the shelter. LC, you may be on to something..allergens in food and have thought of that. Heart murmurs and failures, heart worms, possible cancer should also be checked, and any diseases that have the symptoms written about on this forum. Those second and third opinions should be done as well...especially if the vet isn't being thorough..and caring.

Posted on October 20, 2010

Georgia Miner says: My Shi Tzu is 17 years old He has had this deep cough and gagging for quite a while. I've taken him to a vet. The cough stopped for awhile. But now it's back, and just as bad as ever. He needs some help. Thanks in advance.

Posted on October 17, 2010

melody says: I recently found one lone tick on my little doggie and put some parafin on so that it would fall it by itself which it did, but then today noticed that he is coughing with occasional sneezing and has a very wet nose but is eating well. could this be something serious because he was around us in a dusty environment yesterday and perhaps also got some of it in his nose and throat like I did too. Please advise because I am watching him and by tomorrow afternoon if not well will take him to the ver

Posted on October 1, 2010

LC says: I am starting to feel as though there may be something in the dog food that is causing all the recent complaints of coughing and or sneezing. Maybe something like allergens are in the dog food. It just seems so strange that ALL these dogs are having the same symptoms that cannot be cured or even diagnosed. Remember all the recalled dog foods that were killing the dogs a few years ago? God only knows what they may be putting in dog food nowadays. Maybe the same corn mush they feed to cows that makes their throats raw. I would like to try feeding my dog hamburger and rice for a while and see if she gets any better. She may also need vitamins too if I do feed her just this.This could be very interesting!

Posted on August 26, 2010

Jennifer says: I just adopted a 5 month old rott/pointer mix from the shelter , and this is our 4th day having him .. he went to the vet yesterday and the vet said he was perfect no temperature nothing... well last night he woke us up coughing like a dry cough ... this morning its been going on for 20 mintues and hes starting to have foam in his mouth while coughing , sounds like he is trying to cough out something . hes been playing at the dog park all week and it just started today :( could it be kennel cough ? if so what ways can i treat him ?

Posted on August 18, 2010

Dottie says: My "Gee Gee" appears to be in good health however she has been coughing, gagging, and wheezing after drinking water, getting excited, or running. We've taken her to the Vet who has given her all kinds of expensive meds in the past which seemed to help at first, but the cough and gagging keeps returning. The Vet said her heart is strong but can't seem to cure her coughing and gagging. She also started limping badly with her right rear leg. The Vet said she had a torn ligament and only surgery would help, but he felt she was too old. Oddly enough, a couple months later, she is walking without a limp, even running a little sometimes, until she starts coughing and choking. But her leg is much better. She also had an ear infection a year and a half ago. We took her to the Vet who gave her some medication that healed the infection but left her deaf. I told the Vet about her not being able to hear and he said it was probably the medication. I said "you didn't tell me the medication could make her deaf, I would have chosen another treatment. Alll that to say, I don't trust these Vets. I've spent hundreds of dollars and had bad results received incorrect and bad information. I'm going to try the other readers suggestions about the honey and chicken soup. If anyone else has another suggestion, please help our little Gee Gee. She's always been such a sweet little dog, and is our baby. Thanks

Posted on August 12, 2010

bonnie-b says: hey i have 3 dogs and 2 have canine cough,my 5 month old and my 2 yr old both have canine cough,my 5 month olde got it first,and we could not get rid of it.we had taken him to the vet 3 times,the third time we took the 2 yr old and found out that he also had it,and that he was close to death,altho he had no real singhs we just wanted to get him checked,but we are now treating all 3 for canine cough,please don't give up.the vet told me that treatment for this cough is a long road,it takes time to get rid of this,it is a terrible thing for them to get,we are very tired as we are up most of the night due to this cough,just know that it will go away once you find the right meds for you dog

Posted on August 2, 2010

doggy mama says: I know it's very hard to have a pet that we love so much but can't afford to take it to the vet for checkups. However, when a parent...whether an animal parent or human parents, you have to really take full responsibility and know that it will be difficult. I am sorry you do not have the money to take your pet to the vet, however, if you feel it in your GUT that your dog is really suffering, I think you have the responsibilty of taking your poor dog in for a good checkup. YOu can always work out a payment plan at a good hospital and make sure you go to a hospital with good reviews. I have been to 4 vets and FINALLY found a doctor who knows what she is talking about. My tiny pom has been coughing and gagging like an old man since he was 4 years old (now 8 years old). He has been losing hair as well. I have had done blood test after blood test on this poor little guy to find out his has no thyroid diesease, no cushings and all this vital signs are GREAT. He is losing hair to genetic problems that are known for Poms says my doctor. It's a demetological issues and I really can't do much about's like a man going bald!!! My dog otherwise is very healthy. I don't make lots of money so I must make sacrafices and I did consider this all when I decided to get a dog. YOu can't just be a lovey and dovey when they are cute and healthy...u gotta do the right thing when they are sick too...espcially when you know deep down inside your baby is sick. The coughing situation, I will get back on that after my visit. My dog lived with it for 4 years and all his tests always comes out with flying color!! I will update on my 4th doctor's opinion on that next week!!

Posted on July 20, 2010

james roberts says: Ok so I have a staffenshire pitbull, or either a pitbull and a boxer mixed, ive been told both im not sure exactly, somone just gave him to me a month ago, he's full grown, i'd say a year and a half old, maybe a bit less, anyhow he has been chained on a small chain his whole life, so this could be a reason for his problem my mom told me, ok so heres the deal, when I got him he was fine, but i noticed he was skinny and didnt eat alot, i figured it was just his personality, but now, he wont eat much, and wont drink much, and he coughs ALOT, hacks and hacks and hacks, generally he cant get anything up, but every so often he throws up white thick infection, im guessing. the only other thing i can describe about his condition is that I fed him some really good food the other day, and he threw up all of it, and it was a belly full, i was shocked he could throw that all up. ive been giving him ammoxicillin for two days now, with advice from my mom that its kennel cough, i dont have have the money to take him to the vet, but I want to help my dog, please give me some of your thoughts. P.s he isnt restless. he just isnt good.

Posted on July 12, 2010

marilyn says: my 8 yr old min pin started wheezing last night, it didn't last too long but if this keeps up should I take here to the vet? Any suggestions or home remedys will be taken seriously.

Posted on June 18, 2010

Colleen Brockett says: My 7 lb. pomapoo has a dry hacking cough. He seems fine otherwise. This seems to happen more when he gets excited. I have three dogs and really can't afford the vets, please help.

Posted on June 18, 2010

Colleen Brockett says: My 7 lb. pomapoo has a dry hacking cough. He seems fine otherwise. This seems to happen more when he gets excited. I have three dogs and really can't afford the vets, please help.

Posted on June 19, 2010

Izzie says: 5 yr. old male , in the last few months has started occasionally coughing, the cough seems dry & sometimes sounds like a backwards sneeze. I gently rub his throat the way it runs & talk soft, this usually stops the current episode. I don't know what is causing it. He doesn't spit up anything. Please can some one help???

Posted on June 27, 2010

Dean says: I have a 12 year old dachoundshe has been diagnoiesd bad heart. for a few years she has developedcough and snezzes.Now she walks constantly won't eat or drink she goes into a seiure foams at nose and mouth.what can be done with her to help the situation.thak you

Posted on June 14, 2010

Wendy says: I do think there is an answer. I have found that the antibiotic reduces it. I think they need to be on cortisone and it is a chronic bronchitis or viral infection that their age/situation does not allow them to kick out of their system. I am going to ask my vet this week if I can get a prescription and see how it works. I hate watching mine also, because their attitude goes down when they do the gagging/trying to get mucous up, but nothing comes up. Something is inflammed and cortisone is a brilliant medicine. I will let you know if I can get the meds and how it goes. I am also trying a homeopathic remedy by PetAlive. I also have her on previcox (NSAID) and it seems to have reduced it some but not eliminate or reduce enough to make her comfortable all the time. I find it worse in the evening? You? Thank you for your reply!

Posted on June 11, 2010

Eddie says: Hi Wendy, Unfortunately I have found NO ANSWERS! It is sounding to me after reading your reply and the others here there is nothing we can no. I HOPE & PRAY I AM WRONG! For WE LOVE HIM LIKE HE IS A CHILD. And to watch him and not be able to do anything really hurts for We feel helpless. I hope someone answers these questions soon not just for myself but for all that has a loved pet ! If you find a answer please let US know.

Posted on June 9, 2010

Wendy says: Hi Eddie, my 13 year old Black Lab has been doing the gagging on mucous for months now and if I put her on antibiotic it decreases but shortly after she is done with the 10 day round (day or two), it comes back. I have no idea what it is either. Her brother does it but not so frequently. She does have other diseases but she has her appetite (and for a lab that is a great indicator on how sick they are). This has been going on since she had Kennel cough in 4/2008, it slowly got worse. Did you come to any conclusions?

Posted on June 6, 2010

Eddie says: We have a 10 yr. old Black Lab. He did get kennel cough last yr. but he was perscribed meds. through the vet. And He got better!! But what he is doing now is NOTHING LIKE KENNEL COUGH! He eats good and he is very active and playful. Even at his age but ..Now everytime he drinks water he makes a loud deep sound like a duck hocking or something and he starts gaging and heaving after wards he throws up thick slimmy phelm! Can someone..or does anyone know what could be causing this?

Posted on May 25, 2010

chrisandy says: my dog has a foxtail in her throat what should i do i've tried dog food and rubbing

Posted on April 7, 2010

Donna says: I have a 16 yr. old Golden Retriever that has periods of hacking and coughing and this has been going on for the past year. It will last for a couple of weeks and then goes away for a month or two. I keep her area spotless as I thought it might be fungus or allergies. I know she is up there in years but she still eats and drinks well and I hate to give up on her. I know a vet would advise me to put her down so I have not contacted one. I am going to try the honey and chicken soup and see if it might help. I am glad to see others that share the same problems, and that are such dedicated pet owners.

Posted on March 15, 2010

emma says: My husky is 12 years old, she got shot by a neighbor when she was 6 . My dog keeps hacking and has a dripping nose. I feel so bad for her it sometimes goes away, but it comes back. It is like she can't breathe out of her nose. I have took her to the vet they can't figure anything out that is permanent.Any thoughts?

Posted on March 5, 2010

Ann says: I have a 17yr old silky terrier, he cough sometimes during the day and in the evening... It sounds to me that he has congestive heart failure... he eats and drinks, and sleeps during the day, and goes outside, does the honey work? I gave him some which I mixed a tablespoon of honey and warm water in a syringe, I hope it soothes him..other than that I have spent a fortune with vets also.

Posted on November 15, 2009

maria says: Have you tryed cooked white rice with cooked hambuger will help give it to them. Then slowly start mixing there regular food in it may help put the weight back on. Hope this helps your babies.

Posted on January 31, 2010

samuels says: My dog has developed a very loud cough. He sounds if he is trying to bring up mucus, but none ever apperars. He does not has a fever, but he seem to have a lazy behavior. I very frighten of this cough because it has change his personality. He not happy and that makes me sad. My finances and my husband medical bills have stop me from entering into a expensive vet. office. I just dont have the money. There has to be something over the counter I can give my dog to help him. Picasso is 14 years lab mix. He is over weight and is having troubles with his back leg. All I can do is love him and make him very comfortable on my budget, if someone can't help me.

Posted on November 10, 2009

lisa says: all these comments i can relate to...where is your response? I have a 16 year old dauchaund with a old mans cough, gotten worse over the year, recently a hunched back. does not act sick only old and swollen

Posted on October 24, 2009

B.J. Kelly says: my medium size black cocker/lab mix all of the sudden starts coughing off and on with white foam coming out, does kennel cough come this quickly? He was at the vet last week and a lady had her dogs there and said "beware, one has kennel cough" recently adopted. Also my dog could've eaten a chicken bone at breakfast, what should I do, for each sympton or both? Help, and Thanks, BJK

Posted on October 22, 2009

rocky says: 5year old lab very hiper great apitite but coughs regularly any comments he is like my son

Posted on October 20, 2009

Sharon says: I have been giing her hairball medicine for cats and it helps her, I gotta keep right up with it or she starts coughing, Now when she starts on a coughing binge she comes to me and the tube of hairball stuff! Fortunately she likes itl Sharon

Posted on September 14, 2009

The Dog Daily says: Check back on October 12th for The Dog Daily's article to answer all of your canine coughing questions!

Posted on August 23, 2009

freddie brown says: I thought I could google this topic since my 15 pound Terrier occasionally does this... one after another hacking and looking like he is trying to clear his throat of foamy stuff. Several times, I have used my fingers to clear it way back from his throat and it seems to help. Just be careful you don't have long finger nails and are very careful.. Just wipe it on a paper towel and keep doing it till all the foamy stuff is gone. Wash your hands... I just wanted to prevent it rather than cure it but I think maybe licking his coat may have got something hung in his throat ? But after clearing his throat about 4 - 5 times and getting the foamy stuff, he seem to have stopped.

Posted on August 22, 2009

Christine says: My 9 year old Rott has been coughing for about 2 months, eats only occasionally and lost weight. He is not lethargic in any way and vet says heart ok and blood tests are fine. Any ideas??

Posted on August 14, 2009

Jennifer says: I got a puppy from the pound and he is maybe 8 weeks old now. He has had hookworm and roundworms, but I used a dewormer and that seems ok. But for like 10 days he has had a cough and at night he has problems breathing off and on. He breathes through his mouth and it is more like a puffing sound (labored). I have him on an antibiotic. His activity level is good and so is his appetite. What could this be due to?? Help

Posted on August 14, 2009

Brandi says: Hi, I have a 3 1/2 month old Mini Dachshund. He has been coughing, wheezing, and reverse sneezing for a few days now. I took him to the vet yesterday and they said he seems fine. It still concerns me that he is hacking like he is and occasionally coughing up white mucus. I asked them about Kennel Cough since he was recently boarded for 10 days and they said he seemed fine.

Posted on August 12, 2009

Tressa says: Hi, I have a maltese that is 17 yrs. old. We have been giving her medicine for awhile (Lasiz and Enalapril and Bordatella) It seems to all be connected with her heart. Well, the past two days she has been coughing non-stop. Kind of a dry honking sound. We gave her some child benadryl but it's not working liek it used to. I will try the honey idea that I saw posted. But, if anyone know how to ease her coughing - by laying her on a certain side or massaging her throat or nose please let me know. Thanks!

Posted on July 11, 2009

alyssa says: Okay i have a austrailian border collie mix and hes about 7 10 yrs old. This morning he began hacking and nothing came up unlesss he swallowing it. i put my ear to his back and hes breathing funny too. sounds very painful when he breathes in hes working hard to get a breath. idk what to do or whats wrong with him

Posted on July 7, 2009

carolyn says: i just rescued a 3 year old shitu ztu she started coughing an wont eat she is uderweight an im worried as she does not need to loose anymore weight what can i do for her the vets wont do much just charge you a big vet bill so if i can treat her myself i will try

Posted on July 5, 2009

Charlie says: I have a 3 year old staffordshire bull terrier , male. recently and especially the last 24 hours he has been struggling to breath and making a sound almost like a goose honking. what could this be ?

Posted on June 22, 2009

Nicole says: Our 5 month old Cocker Spaniel always 'hacked/wheezed' a bit when he was excited or would bark a lot but it would quickly pass and we were never concerned about the issue. This past weekend, he coughed all night both nights and into the day, throughout. It is not as bad during the day, nor as constant, but once night falls, he coughs non stop- sounds like he has something stuck in his throat and is trying to cough it up? He doesn't seem to cough anything up like a fluid or foam- just this wheezing cough- almost sounds like whooping cough- we also have a little Jack Russel/Chihuahua mix, but she has no symptoms of anything being wrong with her, so, I am doubting anything contagious as they spend all day and night together. In any case, we are in Mozambique and no after hours vet- I do not have much faith in the vets here either but we are trying to get him to one later today, if at all possible. PLEASE help, my baby boy is so sick and not sure if we can get the right assistance here.

Posted on June 21, 2009

janie says: my che-che-wa-wa 5 lb has a deep gaging caugh with white foam and a tad yellow but all is thick. it just came on a week ago. she looka so sad. she coughs at no certian time. i guess we go to vet and he will guess around and get paid. i love her like a child. what to do .

Posted on June 18, 2009

Vanessa Edmond says: My 13 year old daschaund is coughing up white sometimes clear subtance and she won't spit it out she just swallows it. I need to know what that is.

Posted on June 18, 2009

Jovanka says: My 15 year old cocker spaniel has a hacking cough. Vet suggested enalapril and pholcodine assuming that it is caused by heart insufficience. It is not posssible to apply any diagnostig methods because he can not be still and he is tio old fon an anesthesia. The prescribed medecine did not help him at all. At night he does not hjave this problem. He eats well and has no other problems, except extrenly dundruff al over the skin. Please anybody help with some advice. Thanking in advance

Posted on June 5, 2009

Nancy says: About 3 weeks ago my 10 yr old Lab, Chow mix female began waking up in the AM and began "clearing her throat/gagging/coughing". The she ate and sometimes choked on her dry food. When she barks she ends up doing the same thing-choking...She seems otherwise normal and still runs outside...but tires more easily.

Posted on June 2, 2009

gloria says: my little dog inky is 14 in september and he was poisoned by the neighbour ar 5 mons and the vet wqas able to save him; he was bleeding from the bowel and mouth but he has a bed cough when he plays with the little chihuahua he ciughs until he almost throws up theh he goes on playing. he only does this when hes playing or gets tired running round

Posted on May 17, 2009

ej says: Our 3 yr. old mut (poodle mix) has a deep hacking cough only after she drinks water. While drinking water she maneuvers her neck up and down...She is on anitbiotics and it is better but not going away....Any thoughts.

Posted on May 16, 2009

Trina says: I need help with my dogs collapsing treachea can anyone give advice on what to do?

Posted on April 9, 2009

paige says: where r the answers 2 all these Questions!? Theyre pretty much the same. And i need Answers Now!

Posted on April 18, 2009

Bernie says: My rescued chinese crested has a heart murmer and takes vasotec. Last evening he suddenly developed this deep honking cough that sounds like it's from a walrus. He coughs up quarter sized foam. The sessions have lasted about 5 min at a time. He seems very uncomfortable when it's happening. He'd love some honey so I'll give that a try - but what's concerning - it seemed the last foam is slightly pink tinged, which could mean some blood.

Posted on April 6, 2009

Joe says: Dogs can cough, really? Do you think cats can cough too, or anything else with a throat and some lungs for that matter? Good lord...

Posted on March 3, 2009

john driscoll says: my husky is sneezing out bloody mucus and breathing very heavily once and a while. his energy level is very low what should i do PLEASE HELP!

Posted on April 2, 2009

Debbie says: my 2 yr old Chichuchu is sneezing ,, and makes a sound like a donkey braying,, it scares him, he get real quite for about 5 min.,, it only lasts for about 30 seconds, and just started after the vet gave medicne for Kennel Cough,, (drops in the nose) please help,, going to vet tomarrow,

Posted on February 7, 2009

Glenn says: My JRT has a dry cough when she gets excited but is realy bad at night , she has been treated for kennel cough it seems to go away for a few days then comes back and we end up at the vets again otherwise she seems fine. coughs like she has something she wants to get out. There have been three trips to the vet and now i think she must go again. Can you help please.

Posted on January 3, 2009

Kathy says: My little Pookie has a hacking cough, but it is strange because he had a bad cough for a long time, then it stopped for several months. Now it is back with a vengeance. My husband and I rescued Pookie when he was abandoned on a country road about 5 years ago, so we don't know how old he is or where he came from. He has lost nearly all his teeth and the vet said he has a heart murmer but he is such a Tazmanian devil if I try to give him medicine that I have to take him to the vet for shots instead of pills. The shots don't even help that much anymore. I just don't know what to do to help him. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Posted on November 28, 2008

Ayesha says: I have a 10 week old Shih Tzu that seems to be coughing/sneezing. Distemper was ruled out, but she is on her second round of antibiotics (10 days total). Bronchitis was NEVER mentioned, but my friend's mother has a Malti-Poo with it and she said ginger sounds just like her boy. She seemed thoroughly convinced when Ginger "threw up" phlegm. When she "sneezes," it almost sounds like me. A-a-a-choo! Is there a remote possibility she may have bronchitis? I am NOT asking you to diagnose her, I just need guidance for my next round of Q&A with her vet. This never occured to me before. Are there any other questions I need to ask? This is my first small breed dog. I thought i did enough research, but I had no clue! All I want is a healthy happy baby. She's way too adorable and loving to be sick. I hate seeing her playful one minute, and sneezing or coughing another.... Thanks in advance for your help. God bless you!

Posted on November 11, 2008

Mary says: I have a 15 yo Schipperke who cannot sleep thru the nite; this has been going on for almost one year. Any suggestions to help her? Thank you, Mary

Posted on November 9, 2008

Debbie says: Lives in our back yard with our little chihuaua - they are best friends, but sometimes get into fun fights. My fox terrier has like a bronchitus type cough - occasionally - mostly when in her kennel at night, and when she first gets up - sometimes when she exerts herself - but it is it not often. She still has a lot of energy and seems to be eating/drinking well. Had tested for heart worms - negative. They did put her on antibiotics. Coughing seemed less. But with the cooler weather she is still coughing. Not sure what to do - I am concerned. I cannot afford to spend a lot at the vet and I love my dog. One thing - I have newspapers on the floor of her kennel - do you think the ink/dye in the paper could be causing irritation?

Posted on October 30, 2008

terry says: i have a 2 year old newfie that has started coughing 2 days ago. he will cough and then gag, he seems to be eating fine and doing evrything else fine, im not sure what to do or what i can give him.

Posted on November 2, 2008

neil edge says: hello, i have a 6 month old rottwieler the last week she has had foam coming out of her nose and mouth when walking, also her right nostil often seems to be running but not all the time, i took her to vet and he gave her a weeks coarse of antibiotics (Clindacyl 175mg twice daily) after the week is nearly up the foam is still there. could this be a sign of anything or just a bad infection? thx in advance neil

Posted on October 26, 2008

samil says: my 35 days old male boxer is sneezing and cant be able to breathe properly...................plz help

Posted on October 11, 2008

Di says: I lost my min-pin, she was 14. She had had ahacking cough for some time, the vet said it was her collapsing trachea, common in sm. breeds. Come to find out later, diferent vet, it is a sign of heart failure. She was put on lasix, and a heart med, lived a few months, and we had to say good by. do your research people. get 2nd opinions...

Posted on October 9, 2008

Steve Staggs says: I have a 10yr old miniture Aussie and she has started coughing lately. I took her to my vet and she prescribed her Torbutrol and she does not cough will on the medication, however the vet said it was a mind altering drug. I dont want to give it to her if it is mind altering. any suggestions.

Posted on October 2, 2008

charlie says: My 16 year old toy poodle, who is now blind and deaf has also developed a cough. The vet says he has a heart murmer. He did not say the cough was due to his heart murmer. The cough only happens once or twice a day and sometimes when he is resting. He has put him on antibiotics for ten days. He eats well and wags his tail a lot. Am i to expect the worse? Can he live a few more years like this? or am i being cruel. Charlie

Posted on September 23, 2008

LISA says: i have a male bichon who is 4 and he just started this hacking coughing and then coughs up this white foaming stuff he only does this during the day not at night or in the moringings just during the after noons and then sometimes during the evenings what can i do . he will not eat his breakfast in the moring ,but then when it's dinner time he is hungry. i do offer his food in the am ,but he sniffs his food and turns his nose away why does he turn his nose awy from his am food and then is hungry for the pm food???

Posted on September 28, 2008

sherry says: while we were walking the dog came close to a portapotty and found in his mouth dried human feces. I took it out of his mouth. now my dog has chills wont eat or drink and is not his self. I dont know what is going to happen to him.

Posted on September 21, 2008

Naomi says: We have an eleven year old male Shih Tzu. He has been coughing for years. A gagging cough that comes on when he gets excited or licks himself. Our vet in Pa has run every test known to man, and has said it is allergies. We give him Benadryl when he starts in. It quiets him down and lets him sleep at night.It is the only thing that helps him. Since we have moved to Fl he seems to cough a little more. There could be a cronic allergy, but who knows. We feel the best thing we can do is leave him alone, keep him clean and keep giving the Benadryl. Good luck to all of you

Posted on August 24, 2008

Tammy says: I have a 5 yr old black lab who recently started coughing. He does it in the morning, when he gets excited, and after he goes up the stairs. He's on heartworm meds and healthy.

Posted on September 19, 2008

sherry provost says: my little 11 yrold chiuaiuau-dont know the ezact spelling-well she started coughing a year ago when she got excited,now it has been almost non stop for 10 days.she hasbeen to 2 different vets one says its her throat closing and heart,she is now on meds 4 that and the other vet says she could have a cold,she is on meds 4 that,she also has a gum disease we started giving her meds 4 that,i dont want to loose her ,shes my baby.she drinks alot but not much of a appatite,the vet also gave her a shot for inflamation of her throat.she cries its so sad,what do uthink is wrong.she weighs 6 lbs,what can i do.thanx,

Posted on August 11, 2008

Melissa says: I got my baby 2 days ago at the pound, she is a beautiful girl and cant imagine why anyone would leave her there, she has developed a hacking cough that sounds terrible and she coughs up some white foamy stuff. I have heard that I can give her childrens cough medicine as long as its the childrens dose...does anyone have any other home remedies to help my baby???

Posted on July 31, 2008

Jeter's mom says: I have a 1/2 matlise and 1/2 bichone mix, 16 months old. He just started having coughing episodes when he gets excited and even when he is just laying resting. Shall I try honey? and how do I give that to him? thanks for you help.. Jeter's mom.

Posted on July 31, 2008

Jan Michele says: I just read all of your messages and I wish I had a good answer. I have a 12 year old Maltese, Timothy, who has had a hacking cough almost every day for the past 16 months. He has been to 4 different vets and none of them know what the problem is. He's had all kinds of tests, all kinds of medicines (antibiotics, cough, Lasix, cortisones). His heart is good. His lungs are clear. No collapsed trachea. He did have pictures taken inside his throat and the vet found tiny little bubble-like lesions with red streaks which looked angry to me but the vet said he's never seen anything like it and didn't know if it was the cause of the coughing or if the coughing caused it. Then, he shrugged and said whatever it was, he didn't think it was anything fatal. Poor little dog. When he wants to play the coughing stops him. He can't understand it and my little girl dog, Tiffany gets worried for him and runs and hides behind the couch. I've spent hundreds of dollars trying to find the answer and have searched and searched the internet but apparently there is no solution. I've been thinking it might be a tumor but it seems he would have keeled over before now and he still eats and drinks normally and hasn't lost weight (2 vets think he might be a little too overweight and everything is pressed together inside). Benadryl seemed to help for a while but not anymore. I wonder if it has to do with cat fur in the carpet? I know how you all feel. You want to help relieve the suffering but HOW?

Posted on July 23, 2008

cindy mccormic says: Recent nose bleed.(3weeksago) Now sneezing. Vet scoped nose. Found mass. Treating w/antibiotics & fungal medication. (no more bleeding & sneezing/very difficult breathing out of mouth tho) Praying results are non cancerous w/bloodwork. Appetite good, same great disposition, no weight loss. Hoping for good diagnosis. Quezzie is 11 years old. Any thoughts

Posted on July 28, 2008

Joanne Buck says: I have a 11 yr Lhasa and he started coughing and sneezing some 4 moths ago. Vet said she can't find anything. Some days are worse than others. Sometimes it sounds like a sneeze and other times like a dry cough and sometimes like a honking goose. He still wants to eat like a pig and does not seem affected in any other way. Mention a ride in the car or hungary and he gets excited. Does he have a bad cold or allergy? If so, what do I give me - I've read above about honey and Vit C....okay to give to a Llasa who weighs 22 lbs? If so, how much? He's all muscle and not much fat on him at this time. Thanks Joanne Buck St Louis Park, Mn

Posted on July 21, 2008

Carla says: I also have an old Aussie ( 13 years). She coughs when she is excited and when she runs. This has been going on for about a year. Some days are better than others. Today was very bad. She stays outside under the deck . She has tested neg. for heartworms. She weighs about 70 pounds ( I know that this doesn't help) I'm also scared to take her back to the vet. I talked with a person who has the sister of my dog. He says that his dog sometimes does this. She eats well and seems happy. Is it old age? Any ideas?

Posted on July 20, 2008

kristen smith says: My dog has a heart murmer and refuses to take his medicine. when i try he growls(he's not the friendliest dog). and the other day i came home and he went out came back in and about collapsed. i thought he was going to die. he sat as we comforted him but any suggestions i'm scared HELP!!!!

Posted on July 11, 2008

Christina says: We brought our 14wk old min pin home from PetLand 3wks ago with a slight cough and sneeze. Last night we had to rush him to the emergency room only to have hime put on life support, to being put down today. We are having a hard time with this in several ways firt and foremost he is gone!!! Second we still owe over 2,000 dollars plus vet bills. We have no answers we owe all that money & PETLand refuses to help we can not get any help that is reasonable for us. Can anyone help with info please........ Thanks

Posted on July 9, 2008

dede says: last week was a once a year check up for my two boxers. they were given an aersol for kennel cough. This week my 8 year old boxer veloped a hacking, cough that sounds like kennel cough. they have never been in a kennel. this is the first time i ever gave them that vaccination. Has my old boy had an allergic reaction? Now the vet wants me to take him in. My other baby boxer, 3years old is fine. My older dog had suffered from all kinds of allergies as a puppy. What do i do? i just spent like 180 dollars last week and I live on a tight budget.

Posted on July 4, 2008

Erin says: I have a 16 year old Maltese that was dignosed with heart failure about 3 years ago. He is certainly a fighter and has been doing very well on his Captohexal, Purgoxin and Puresis daily, with Millophyline being given when he's very short of breath. However, with winter here, he's develped a chest infection and dispite the antibiotic he is still battling with a very dry cough. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks so much.

Posted on June 30, 2008

sandy mode says: My JRT has a dry cough when she gets excited, for about a month. Had her checked for heart worm, otherwise she seems fine. coughs like she has something she wants to get out.

Posted on July 3, 2008

Tonya Larrabee says: Our puppy is about 4 months old and she loves eating grass. We have really been monitoring her from doing this because we didn't want her to get sick. She was on antiobiotics about a month ago and now she has been doing a type of cough/gag thing and sometimes mucus comes up. I am not sure if I should be worried about this or what to do. Please any information is helpful I am a new puppy owner. Thanks!!!

Posted on June 22, 2008

Doreen T. says: Lacey - You did not describe the type of cough your cocker has. However, it's possible that he has laryngeal paralysis. This does occur in Amer. Cockers. A really excellent vet should be able to diagnose him without anesthesia, and if the dog does have this affliction, it's usually best to do nothing. The surgical procedure to tack back the tissue often leads to future aspiration and pneumonia, so it's better to leave them alone. My cocker was diagnosed at 12 and I left it alone per the vet's reccomendation. He lived til almost 19!

Posted on June 19, 2008

Michelle says: My 7 yr old pug has a terrible hacking cough and a fever. I cant afford to take her to see a vet. Does anybody have any advice for us? Thank you.

Posted on June 11, 2008

debbie says: Our 13 year old male "puppy" has started a dry hack/cough in the last 2 weeks or so. He is old, we know, and maybe not long for this world, he has had arthritis in his back hips for several years and gets around slowly until he spots a squirrel in the yard and he becomes a 2 years old again. He is somewhat overweight, about 60ish lbs., but also no longer eats very much. Some days he eats very little and some other days pretty much. He is quite sedate at this point in his life, just moving from place to place and just dropping when he gets there. Getting up from laying down is obviously quite a chore for him. He has not been in a kennel in years, is current on his rabies and heartworm meds. He is mainly a house dog going out in a large, shaded back yard several times a day. He had surgery a year ago in January for a perinneal hernia and had some teeth extracted and to be nuetered. I have not taken him to the vet as yet - I think I am afraid they will say it has something to do with his heart or lungs and because he is getting old. Anyone else oujt there with a border collie or aussie shepherd? Are these typical symptons as they age? I have heard that the arthritis is typical of the bread )-: I think I may be venting my thoughts more than anything but I would much like to hear some feedback on similar breeds/symptoms.

Posted on June 6, 2008

vonnie frane says: my chihuahua puppy sneezes softly alot and sometimes breathes through his mouth. Hehas been like this for months. Vet checked lungs and they seem o.k. Something is not right, Please advise

Posted on May 21, 2008

basilia says: My dog is hacking like a grown man. Whats wrong with him?

Posted on May 23, 2008

julie says: i have a 5mth old american eskimo that has been coughing since i brought him home. i brought him to the vet and they gave him antibiotic that he took for 2 weeks and the cough is still not gone. it seems to get worse at night and when he gets real hyper. when its hot out it sounds alot worse, can dogs have allergies? or maybe a fur ball since he has so much hair?

Posted on May 5, 2008


Posted on May 5, 2008

Lacey Reddy says: Our 12 yr American Cocker spaniel has been coughing for 5 yrs; tested and checked for everything; heart, lungs, traechael, kennel, etc etc. Has been on all medicines; tussiones, butorphanol, clavamox, antihistimes, etc etc. Our dear Vet is at her rope's end. Any other ideas or help would be greatly appreicated.

Posted on April 29, 2008

Ilona says: My dog, 16 yr.old maltese, Max, was diganosed in Dec. 2007 with high blood pressure precipitated by a seizure. He was given Norvasc. He had a seizure in Feb. and 3 In April 2008. Throughout these episodes he's developed this horrendous deep cough and sneezes. The vet prescribes Hydrocodone for the coughing. He has had a "lung wash" with nothing showing. His heart is strong. The cough has gotten much worse with the introduction of the Phenobarbitol. Can anyone help with this problem? Maz has been healthy except for his slight allergic cough up until Dec. Thanking in advance

Posted on April 28, 2008

Shawn Mom of Mocha says: we got our mutt about 15lbs from the pound about five years ago, she had an occasional cough was vacinated, vet said kennel cough, gave her meds but they didn't do anything,they did blood work said her heart was fine. gave her some allergy medicine, she coughs when she gets excited, she wants to play but ends up coughing. this until recently has been on occasion, the past few weeks she is coughing alot, we took our cat to the vet for the same thing about two weeks ago they gave her some sort of cortizone type shot and her coughing stopped. mocha has a vet apt later this week, money is tight I have run out of disability and have cancer. but the dog comes first she will be seen. we have predisone and allergy medicine. i'm not sure what to do between now and her vet visit. I feel so bad for her. and where do I read the responses to the other peoples questions?

Posted on April 14, 2008 says: My 14 yr. old Dalmatian, who had, despite her exotic diet (cat feces, nails, 5 lb. bag of flour, etc.)had only developed allergies in her old age, started coughing. I attributed it to her allergies as Spring had sprung, and the scratching had started too, so ignored it at first. Then it started getting worse and I was worried she had developed chronic bronchitis. Also, it seemed to be worse at night - or after she was asleep for a bit. She would wake up and just like the article above stated - would take a deep intake of breath and let it out in a hacking sound. She seemed unable to control it, and her chest would heave and twitch even after the coughing was done. You could definitely tell she was struggling for air. So I took her to the vet, and yes - a heart murmur - grade 2. Which I read is a soft murmur that is readily evident. At first I was skeptical. Thinking he was discounting my itchy dog. He was very sure and gave her a shot of Lasix and prescribed Disal, and an antibiotic called Cephlxin. There was no coughing for the rest of the day and into the next. The Lasix did that. It's obvious he was correct. We are giving her the Disal, which he says is to get the fluid off of her heart. He says this is causing the coughing because she lays there for a long time and the fluid fills up her lungs and heart and she is coughing because she is literally suffocating. The antibiotic is to rid her of any infection that could be causing all of this, or to ward off something attacking the immune system. It's been 3 days so say a prayer. I'll post back what happens.

Posted on April 10, 2008

kathy turner says: I have a 12 year old girl and she has started with this dry cough and a small amount of mucus. She does have a heart murmur but is on no medication for that. We have lots of oak trees and our allergies have been awful this season. Could she have an allergy too. I agree with some of the folks that the vet takes my $$$ but no real solution. She has had seizures in the past but none in the last 2 years thankfully. Your input would be very much appreciated. I like the idea of the cough medicine with DM and the Vitamin C. Thanks to all of you.

Posted on April 4, 2008

scott tysinger says: i took my baby to the vet for a bad cough it cost me 324.60 the cough has not got any better. i love her but i dont think the vet knows what he is doing. please e-mail me at for any suggestions for what might help that is safe. thank you

Posted on March 25, 2008

Steven Schafer says: My Golden is about 14 yrs old he has just devaloped a cough or hacking he cant keep any food down yet he still drinks water and gose outside to releve himself can you please help

Posted on March 15, 2008

judy says: My 6yr old lab has started coughing mainly when she first wakes up in the morning or when she gets excited as someone enters the room. It is a gagging type of cough with a pop at the end. It goes on for several minutes and then stops. Could this be allergys with the spring approaching?

Posted on March 2, 2008

rose says: i just had this happened and my baby is at the emergency hospital. he said he needs medication due to he has a enlarged heart. I really think the creep just wanted to collect 900 dollars from me but i will no more tomorrow at my so sick and im so afraid of loosing my baby

Posted on February 25, 2008

b bragg says: i have a 8 year old pug which is over weight. he has a cough that is like something caught in his throat. he does this a few times a day. especially when he barks. what sould i do?

Posted on February 29, 2008

Debbie Bailey says: I have a 12 yr old lab mix. She has been treated for skin infections & ear infection. She is off antibiotics and now has started a cough with mucus. We have taken her to the vet so many times this last year. I do not know what to do for her cough and the vet just seems to take the $$ and we never have 100% results. Can you please advise me of what we can do for her cough.

Posted on February 23, 2008

kim says: my 4 year old dog has a cough for two days. everyone in the house is sick. it sounds just like our cough. should i take him to the vet or try some honey? thank you kim

Posted on January 27, 2008

Leslie Monahan says: Our 5 month old black lab seems to have postnasal drip or a sinus infection. How do you treat that?

Posted on January 27, 2008

Frances says: Please help me. My large 8 year old dog one day after being in dog park threw uo his dinner twice, became lethargic, and began coughing horribly off and on all night. The vet checked his heart, and said we should wait to see if it went away, but it only got worse and his nose and paws also became hot consistantly, he sleeps most of the time won't eat much, hardly wants to walk, and when he tries to show his happiness and exitement when he sees me, starts the horrible coughing again. Also has raspy sound and laboured breathing at times. The vet prescribed anti-biotics that do not seem to be working. I am so concerned and praying for a solution so I can ease his suffering. I'd be so grateful for some feed-back. Thank you, God Bless.

Posted on January 6, 2008

ann marie says: cough syrup with dm was suggested by my vet. my minpin is 7pounds so they told me 1\4 a teaspoon. i give him 1/2 at times. he is also on pheno. all are ok together

Posted on January 18, 2008

leigh foster says: I have a 5yr old jack russell. She has started the hacking cough in the last month. Vet checked for heartworm, which was negative, and listened to her heart and lungs. Vet said all sounded fine. She is still coughing and seems to have labored breathing. Help?

Posted on December 10, 2007

Estelle says: My 4 year old long haired chihuahua was diagnosed with post nasal drip syndrome because she coughs a lot. I give her cortisone tablets every 2 days. Are there any dangerous side effects to this medication?

Posted on December 15, 2007

Nicholas Kjos says: my Shih Tzu is 5 months olds and wheezes a lot, he also sneezes a lot, a friend said if takes a 1/5 of an alka selzer in his food it would help. is this true??????

Posted on November 13, 2007

Sid says: my dog sneezes and farts. is that normal?

Posted on November 22, 2007

D. Santiago says: I have a 17 yr old bichon. Vet gave him temeril p tablets to help his cough. But he also takes phenobarbitol to prevent siezures. Now I am wondering if it is safe to take both of these since I just read that it's not. Help!

Posted on November 25, 2007

rinbiscuit says: Do bring lil yogi to the vet. My lil one suffers from heart murmur and has to be on long term medication. Cough very night and day recently and i can't seem to help and vets can't help either. Does the chicken soup really help?

Posted on December 8, 2007

Concerned says: My 8 yr old chihuahua which I recently adopted from the SPCA over a week ago is constantly sneezing & has difficulty breathing through her nose. She has recently completed a 7 day round of Clavamox 62.5 mg twice a day with no relief from sneezing or congestion. Please advise.

Posted on November 9, 2007

Toni Specht says: My little Yogi (15lb, 14yr old Jack Russell) has developed a severe cough that has kept us both up at nite several times during the last 2 weeks-I've been advised that his heart is slightly enlarged, but not sure if it's that, or Kennel Cough (in spite of vaccinations.) Running all the the tests at this time is not an option-I'm giving him 250mg vitamin c daily for his immune system,for the coughing fits a tsp of honey (3x daily). Last nite gave him a couple ounces of warmed chicken broth and his coughing spasm quieted for the duration of the night. I don't know if it was the chicken soup, but I shall continue to give it to him! Would appreciate any other suggestions-Thanks!

Posted on October 13, 2007

Crise Billwalk says: I need help here. Is dog sneezing a symptom of flu or cold?

Posted on October 16, 2007

MARIAN RAWLINSON says: i have an 8 year old shar-pei she has an enlarged nipple which is black & draining every now & then tissue comes out of it help

Posted on November 4, 2007

Alejandra says: I have a 15 year old Shitzu and about 3 days ago a came home to find my baby boy not welcoming me at the door but in his bed laying down. He looked tired and sick. that same nigth he started to cough very badly i took him to the vet, and she said he had a virus and was not to be around other dogs. she also gave him some pills clavamox 125mg and temaril p. but he is still coughing wen i look up these pills they are use mainly for skin relief of itching. what does it have to do with my dogs cough how can these pills work for him. please help me i'm very scared

Posted on October 7, 2007

Ellen S. Byers says: Thanks for an informative article that offers good advice to pet owners. We can't be over educated in how to care for our pets. We are their only hope.When they are ill they have only us to turn to, just as a child does. Thank you for sharing. Ellie

Posted on October 4, 2007

dennis says: I have a 17 yr old maltese...he started coughing. The vet said hes has a slight heart murmur and this is a common occurrence and nothing can be done especially for dogs his age. He suggested give him a little honey(Teaspoon) to ease his throat....Should I be looking elsewhere to help my dog.. I know hes old but he hasn't lived this long due to bad care...he has a great appetite and still plays and enjoys long walks...ANY SUGGESTIONS FROM ANYONE PLEASE HELP

Posted on February 11, 2011

Lana says: Our jack russell is eleven yrs. old and has had a cough the vet says its a kennel cough. He has been treating it with steroids which makes her very hungry but stops the cough!

Posted on March 3, 2011

Mags says: My dog is 16 1/2 has bronchitis in the chest and a very bad coughand i was told he could go on conscious is that serious.

Posted on March 14, 2011

Valarie says: Georgia Miner Please get your dog to the vet and demand aswers what is wrong my kianna (shih tzu was 13 had the same cough like a hair ball. Dr. said it was fluid in her lungs we tried everything to no avail, her breathing got real heavy and like a rattle . She stopped eating for 3 days i made here everything she liked and nothing she died last Monday, I woke up to her on my birthday laying in the sun room i put my hand on her belly she took one last breath and passed away. :) I am heart broken.. I feel like I should have done something more but doctor said there was nothing more we could do as she was old. Still just makes me so sad my little girl is gone. I still think it was congestive heart failure. She would hack like a fur ball and sould like she was going to vomit but nothing then she spit up a bunch of flem 2 days before and she nevewr ate and never coughed and then she was gone.

Posted on March 30, 2011

Yuri says: My 2yr old dog is coughing instead of barking. She can not bark anymore, that I've noticed. Today she did and it sounded healthy but then she stopped. What can be wrong with her? She is in the kennel with another dog. And he seems fine and unaffected. What is wrong with her?

Posted on October 31, 2011

dwedgefesom says: I always try to search out the very best way cleaning my carpets. I discovered out that steam cleansing is among the best cleaning strategies for your most carpets.

Posted on January 17, 2012

kirsty says: dog coughing all the time he is eating an drinking what could it be o hes lost weight to

Posted on February 2, 2012

Cleò says: Awrr..sweety !! Pets are so sensitives ..

Posted on February 22, 2012

james says: last 3 days my cocker is 8 yrs old has a costant cough for few minn then it goes away full  of energy eats own food not mine snores like a bear wakes up it might start coughing then it might quit.start up again she has the run house and back yard to run in stays indoors most time . 

Posted on February 22, 2012

Mary Ward-Eaton says: The author fails to mention COPD, which although not common does occur in small breed dogs. I listen to my mini-dachshund's recently diagnosed COPD after a bad case of bronchitis - her breathing is heartbreaking at times, but as long as the vet assures me her meds overcome her desire to be with her humans, I will do anything to keep my baby having a fun, comfy life.

Posted on March 2, 2012

Moose says: My min pin makes sounds and acts like ahe has a fur ball. And she gets the hiccups. She is 10so weeks old. has had her first shots. Shoukd  i be worried? please help!!! 

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