I have a 14 week old boxer puppy and she is coughing quite a bit, is it possible for her to have heart worms this early or could she be coughing because of a heart murmur that the vet said she had at her last visit?
And if it is because of her heart murmur that she is coughing what can we do for her?
I think it's unlikely that your puppy's cough is due to his heart murmur. Heart murmers can range from very mild (almost un-noticeable) to severe enough to cause growth and developmental problems.
If your pup's heart problems were severe enough to cause persistent coughing, chances are he'd have other symptoms such as lethargy, panting, slower-than-normal growth etc.
It's also extremely unlikely that his cough is related to heartworms. This is because once heartworm larvae get into the dog's blood, it takes at least 4 months for them to reach adulthood and affect the heart.
This is why it's important to be pro-active with heartworm prevention (see my Heartworm Prevention page) and never to give Heartworm medication to an un-treated dog who hasn't tested negative for these parasites.
So, what is making your pup cough? Chances are it's Kennel Cough, or an upper respiratory tract infection, or even allergies.
I would recommend taking her back to the vet and talking to him about her cough. Kennel cough often improves without treatment, but your vet may prescribe anti-biotics, these will also be needed if she has an upper respiratory tract infection.
If you rule these out, check out my Dog Allergies page for tips and advice on recognizing and treating canine allergies.
Best of luck with your puppy.
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