Causes of My Dog's Coughing and What I Did About It

If you've heard your dog coughing and want to know more about the possible causes, you should know that there are many conditions, from relatively minor to potentially fatal, that can cause your dog to cough. The good news is that most dog coughs are caused by treatable conditions.

Some of the most frequent causes of coughing in dogs are as follows:

Primary Cardiovascular Disorders

Diseases of the heart valves or heart muscle are a frequent cause of canine coughing because they reduce the heart's ability to pump blood effectively. When the major airways in the lungs are compressed, either by fluid backing up into the lungs or by the enlargement of heart chambers, a cough ensues.

A soft, persistent cough is a telltale sign that your dog's heart disease. If your dog has heart disease and is coughing, you may notice a decrease in their energy and stamina, particularly at night and when they are resting on their side.

Medications for the heart may be recommended by your vet if he or she determines that your dog's cough is due to heart disease.

2 Pneumonia

When a dog starts coughing, one of the first things owners worry about is pneumonia. Pneumonia (lung inflammation) in dogs can be brought on by bacteria, a preexisting viral infection (like canine influenza or distemper), difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, or metabolic disorders.

A dog with pneumonia will have a wet, raspy cough. Your dog's symptoms of pneumonia will include a high body temperature, loss of appetite, and fatigue. They will require veterinary care, plenty of fluids, and rest; in some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

Old dog fast sleeping on the couch in the sun.

Three Cases of Kennel Cough

One of the most common reasons for a dog to cough is kennel cough, which is short for tracheobronchitis, an inflammation and infection of the windpipe and the main lower airways. The incidence of kennel cough is higher in younger dogs, but it can affect dogs of any age. Obedience school, day care, and boarding facilities all increase the risk of infection for dogs. Therefore, if you discover that your dog is coughing after returning from day care, they may have kennel cough.

Kennel cough causes a hacking, dry, and raspy cough in dogs, and it's exacerbated by the dog's pulling on the leash. Kennel Cough can cause nausea, vomiting, and retching.

Although kennel cough sometimes goes away on its own, antibiotics and cough suppressants are frequently prescribed to help with the symptoms and prevent complications like pneumonia. The kennel cough virus spreads easily from dog to dog. Your dog can be protected from future cases of kennel cough with a vaccine against Bordetella bronchiseptica, the bacteria that causes the disease. To prevent your dog from contracting kennel cough, discuss vaccination options with your vet.

Tracheal Collapse, Number 4

Small and toy breeds like Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, pugs, and shih tzus are particularly susceptible to tracheal collapse, a condition that causes the trachea, or windpipe, to become soft and floppy. Tracheal chondromalacia is the medical term for this disorder.

A dry, hacking, and spasmodic cough characterizes tracheal collapse in dogs. They have a hard time relaxing and cough constantly. If they pull on the leash, it will irritate their throats and cause them to cough more.

Your dog may have an asthmatic-sounding cough if its trachea has collapsed completely. Dogs with higher body temperatures, dogs that are overly excited, and dogs that are exposed to airborne irritants or allergens all have more severe cases of coughing. Dogs with tracheal collapse frequently also suffer from bronchitis and/or cardiac disease, so they could be experiencing a variety of coughing symptoms.

Losing weight and taking medication like cough syrups, bronchodilators, steroids, and antibiotics are both part of the treatment for tracheal collapse. Your veterinarian may suggest surgery if the condition of your dog is serious enough.

Caused by Heartworms

Heartworm disease can be a common or uncommon cause of canine coughing, depending on where you live. Even though heartworms are more common in warmer climates like Florida and California, the risk of contracting heartworm disease exists anywhere mosquitoes can spread it.

Depending on the dog's size, the number of worms in their system, and their general health, dogs with heartworm disease may show no symptoms at all, or they may show a cough. Disease symptoms in your dog may include a mild, persistent cough, lethargy, loss of weight, and decreased appetite. Heart failure symptoms may include fluid retention and abdominal swelling in animals with a severe heartworm infestation.

Virus Infectious to Dogs

Canine influenza, or simply "the dog flu," is a respiratory illness that can affect dogs just like it affects humans. Coughing occurs because of a respiratory infection that lasts from 10-30 days.

In order to treat your dog, a veterinarian will most likely recommend medication. Canine influenza is contagious between animals, so it's best to isolate your sick dog in one room if you also have healthy pets at home. Fortunately, it can't be spread from humans to humans.

The Best Way to Treat My Dog's Cough

Taking a coughing dog to the vet is the best course of action. Many of the potential causes of a dog's cough can be effectively treated once the underlying cause has been identified. If your dog is experiencing any unusual symptoms when you take him to the vet, like blood, mucus, white foam, etc., be sure to describe them in detail and let the doctor know. ) Your dog will be back to its usual level of howling and barking after a visit to the vet.

Dr. Sarah Wooten

Dr Wooten, Sarah

Dr Sarah Wooten earned her veterinary degree from the University of California, Davis in 2002. Dr. Franks is a well-respected veterinarian and journalist who is active in the American Society of Veterinary Journalists. Wooten is a small animal veterinarian in Greeley, Colorado, who also gives talks and writes about associate issues, leadership, and client communication. She loves to go on family camping trips, ski, SCUBA, and compete in triathlons.

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