My collie poodle can be very active and loves to chase other dogs for fun. Recently I noticed that once a day or every three days my dog at rest (just walking in the house) would have a standing coughing fit (multiple coughs in a row for 10 to 20 seconds). In the past he could coughed once or twice a week or much much less. The only thing that has changed in his life is that I'm switching his food and I'm now adding fish oil to his food. I'm mixing his old food with his new food so his stomach can adapt.

I was worried about this enough that I brought him to the vet. The vet told me that they think they could hear a heart murmur.

I know that with age a heart murmur can develop in dogs, but I haven't heard about a heart murmur causing coughing fits. I am planning in getting the diagnostic tests done to be able to confirm the heart murmur but I was wondering if I should still be looking for the cause of the coughing fits.

Notes about my dog:

  • He's been playing with neighborhood dogs his entire life.
  • He has an odd practice of eating dirt (especially while playing with other dogs).
  • He is 8 years old.
  • Just to be safe here, can you describe how he coughs? Does he press air out through the mouth or does he suck air in in fits? Dogs cough different from humans, so I ask for clarity.
    – Elmy
    Oct 30, 2020 at 18:14
  • 1
    His coughs are exhaled through the mouth. Oct 30, 2020 at 19:30
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    If you Google heart murmur and coughing in dogs, you will discover that actually, yes, a possible symptom of a heart murmur is coughing. I have no knowledge beyond that, however, so my best advice is to ask your vet more questions to help you determine whether you want a second opinion or if you feel confident in their diagnosis.
    – Kai
    Oct 31, 2020 at 9:39

1 Answer 1


That depends entirely on how attached are you to the poor thing and where exactly do you stand on the emotional spectrum of the following bounds (should the doggie kick the bucket): <Grab a coffee and watch NFLX, Early Check-Out>

Only you can answer that question.

On a slightly more serious note, I have moved extensively in last few years and have been exposed to more than 5 vets across multiple states in last 3 years and thus can compare how they interpret the same thing (heart murmur being one such thing) differently.

The bounds of that range are similar to the ones I mentioned earlier. It makes sense, actually (just not at first).

Do as much research as you possibly can before asking questions at a vet's. They will happily alleviate your anxiety, laughing all the way to the bank...

BTW, since your doggie loves the dirt, do you have the dewormer (and related meds) at home? I would presume so, just checking.

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