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Ask the Veterinarian/dog panting/coughing



Hopefully you can help me. I have a 18 month old female shepherd mix. She is very healthy and within normal weight range according to our vet. She gets a fair amount of exercise, she is quite active being that she is still young and loves to play. I noticed recently that after running around a lot and playing that she pants very fast (which is normal for her) but she is coughing a bit while panting. Is this something I should be concerned about? Let me know if you need any more information. Thanks in advance!

Hello Ashley,
panting is pretty normal, as you say, the coughing isn't. She could have an upper respiratory infection. Do you know if she has a heart murmur and has she been treated for heartworm? Is she up to date with vaccinations?

I guess in this sort of instance if it is a simple upper respiratory infection or 'cold' it may just resolve with some rest after a few days. If it doesn't start to improve or she seems less active or goes off her food, I would visit your vet.

Hope that helps a little. It is a bit tricky to diagnose without being able to see here, hear the cough and listen to her chest, but so long as she is happy and playful hopefully it is nothing too serious.


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Eloise Bright


I am a vet with a special interest in dermatology, particularly allergic dogs and cats, behaviour and acupuncture. I work mainly with dogs and cats. If you are wondering why your pet is still itchy, despite good flea control, or why your dog licks his feet, I may be able to give you some solutions. I'm currently very passionate about behaviour and am doing some further education in this area. So if you have a troubling behaviour with your dog or cat, such as barking, leash reactivity, anxiety or a dog who is a little wild and difficult to control, I may be able to help you with some solutions.


I work in an area of Sydney where we see lots of allergic pets. I think behaviour problems are very common and I help a number of owners find solutions that will restore peace to them and their pets. Currently I enjoy answering questions, providing advice and writing pet care articles for

I graduated as a vet from Sydney Uni in 2006 and have since been completing my Masters in Small Animal Practice and am also updating my skills with a behaviour course through Sydney Uni.

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