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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Foreign Object in the Lungs

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Condition Overview

Grass seeds and food particles are the most common foreign materials inhaled by dogs that are big enough to lodge in the smaller breathing tubes. Most of these are quickly coughed up. If the object becomes fixed in the airway, it causes intense irritation and swelling of the air passage.

Symptoms

Sudden attacks of coughing that occur immediately after vomiting or after a dog has been running in tall grass and weeds suggest inhalation of a foreign object.

Causes

Lungworms in the bronchi also cause severe coughing spasms.

Diagnosis

Unexplained coughing should be investigated by a veterinarian.

Treatment

Avoid cough medicines, unless prescribed by your veterinarian, since they delay treatment. Bronchoscopy is usually successful in locating and removing bronchial foreign bodies, particularly if the procedure is done within 2 weeks of inhalation.

Prevention

There is no prevention for this condition.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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