Coughing? Heartworm?

la miss

parigote
May 4, 2007
4,233
2
Has anyone ever had a cat or dog contract heartworm. How did you know they were sick? What were the signs? I recently got a rescue dog who has been coughing lately and I read that could be a sign of heartworm. I called the shelter where we adopted him and they said they did not test for heartworm. We're going to the doctor tomorrow but I am worried sick. :cry:
 

la miss

parigote
May 4, 2007
4,233
2
Thanks juneping and oogiewoogie. I'm on pins and needles until the appointment tomorrow. Every cough, grunt or sneeze and I just scoop him up and hug him so tight. I just don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to my little furbundle. If it's kennel cough that would be a relief. He was fine for a few months and then suddenly the coughing started.
 

boxermomof2

Member
Jul 21, 2009
5,205
36
I was thinking kennel cough. My boxer contracted it from the vet's office kennel area and he was vaccinated for it. It is my understanding that the vac is similar to the flu shot, it only protects certain strains.
Praying it's kennel cough....keep us posted!:hugs:

Forgot to mention...I was told to give a little honey to soothe the throat. I would ask the vet though!
 

NemoAndChula

Miss Alexandria Pup
Apr 30, 2010
2,814
2
66
Texas
When our very elderly dogs developed cough, it was related to heart trouble. We have a dog who is about 8 but is overweight. I know he doesn't have kennel cough or heartworm, but he has developed a cough. We need to get him checked out.
The above posters are absolutely correct, kennel cough, heart trouble are symptoms.
(Did have a dog many years ago with heartworm who did not cough at all.)
 

pmburk

O.G.
Jul 10, 2008
7,954
3,188
Texas
Our dog was heartworm positive when we took him in, so I've done a lot of reading about it. With heartworms, a cough is a very "late stage" sign. If a dog is coughing because of heartworms, there would be other signs and he would appear to be very sick. He would look like a dog that's at death's door, basically.

In other words, if the dog is just coughing and has no other real symptoms, it isn't heartworms. My money is on kennel cough or something respiratory from being in the shelter with other animals.
 

Mia Bella

O.G.
Mar 27, 2008
4,295
28
It might be kennel cough, it's pretty common for dogs to contract it in kennels/shelters.
This.

And if it is heartworms....I can say that my childhood doxie had heartworms and though I was young I remember the vet showing me a plastic heart with tons of worms in it and I was like :shocked:. I think he gave her a shot and put her on Heartguard and our dog never had problems again. She lived to be 15 years old!
 

la miss

parigote
May 4, 2007
4,233
2
Omg pmburk thank you for posting. I can't tell you how much you have put my mind at ease. I've been a little weepy all day, so scared. But to look at him, he is happy and healthy, his little tail is always wagging, shiny coat, clear alert eyes, chasing his squeaky toy, fighting his arch-nemesis the cat, begging for snacks, sneaking the cat's food. So probably it's just a minor respiratory infection? I will definitely let you guys know after we see the doctor but I feel better about this already. Hoping for the best...
 
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la miss

parigote
May 4, 2007
4,233
2
This.

And if it is heartworms....I can say that my childhood doxie had heartworms and though I was young I remember the vet showing me a plastic heart with tons of worms in it and I was like :shocked:. I think he gave her a shot and put her on Heartguard and our dog never had problems again. She lived to be 15 years old!
Oh thank goodness your doxie recovered!!! From what I read on the internet, I got the impression it was a death sentence.
 

Cindi

My baby, Bellis
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Aug 8, 2006
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PA USA
Try not to worry too much. A cough with no other signs is probably not heart worms. It could just be a cold or allergies. Keeping my fingers crossed for your appointment tomorrow.
 

missD

O.G.
May 29, 2006
3,248
1,402
This.

And if it is heartworms....I can say that my childhood doxie had heartworms and though I was young I remember the vet showing me a plastic heart with tons of worms in it and I was like :shocked:. I think he gave her a shot and put her on Heartguard and our dog never had problems again. She lived to be 15 years old!

Same with my dog (a cocker spaniel mix), he got heartworms and the moment we found out (he was 7/8 then) we've been strict to make him as healthy as possible - through food, exercise, and care. He's been on those monthly medicine meat chew things for heartworm and lived to be 13. BUT I must add that during his later years, when he ran or got super excited he would cough. But other than that, he was happy and maintained a good life until he was gray (he actually aged gray!).
 

Odette

<3 life
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Aug 20, 2007
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One of my dogs that I got at 8 weeks had a bad cough and it turned out to be kennel cough. Some antibiotics cleared it right up.

OP, what did the vet say?
 

la miss

parigote
May 4, 2007
4,233
2
He does NOT have heartworms!!! :yahoo:

The regular vet was closed today so we went to another clinic. They did blood tests for tick borne diseases and heartworms and everything came back negative. The doctor said she is pretty sure he does not have kennel cough unless he picked it up recently at his regular vet's office. But she said she doubts it. She said we should observe him for a few days and if he is still coughing they can do a more thorough exam. But she said he looks like a healthy and happy dog! Thank you all so much for your advice and comforting words while I was freaking out!

Oh and I almost forgot to mention we started him on the heartworm prevention medicine. It looks exactly like snacks so he doesn't even know it's supposed to be good for him! Lol. :tup: