Coughing in dogs can be a sign of something simple, but it can also indicate a more serious health issue that could be going on. If your dog has been coughing and you have not been able to figure out why you will want to take your pet to the veterinarian right away. There are various things that might be environmental that could cause coughing, but most of the time, coughing is a symptom of a health concern that needs to be addressed.
Dog owners should know about the common reasons for dog coughing so that they can start to figure out what might be going on with their pet before the issue becomes serious. For those who have never owned a pet, coughing might not seem to be a big deal. That is, until your dog is quite seriously sick. Knowing more about the reasons that dogs cough can help to ensure that your pet does not get seriously ill before you realize there is something going on.
If you are ready to learn the common reasons that dogs cough, you will want to read on for more information.
1. Heart Disease
There are various heart conditions that can cause your dog to cough. Your dog might have a heart condition that is preventing them from getting enough oxygen or that is causing fluid to sit on their lungs. In other cases, problems like heartworm can cause coughing. These kinds of conditions will only worsen over time, so getting your dog treatment promptly matters.
In the case of most heart conditions, there are medications that can be given to your pet to help them to feel better and to manage symptoms like coughing and fluid in the lungs. When the reason for your dog’s cough is heartworm, you will need to make sure that your vet guides you through the process of killing the heartworm safely. If your dog’s heartworm is quite advanced, there might be limited options to pursue treatment.
Dogs who have had a cold that has become pneumonia might have a tough time breathing and might also cough. The cough will sound wet, and your dog might be panting a lot or just lying around all day. Pneumonia can also cause issues with swallowing, a fever, and a lack of interest in food and water. While it might seem like your dog should feel quite bad when they have pneumonia, dogs can often act quite normal other than their cough. That is until the pneumonia is more advanced.
Dogs with pneumonia will need to be given antibiotics to help them to get better. They might even have to stay at the vet for some support with fluids and other medications to help them to breathe better during the acute phase of the illness. Pneumonia is more common in cats than dogs, but dogs can be susceptible if they have been sick with another illness or if they have caught bacterial pneumonia.
3. Kennel Cough
This is a really common illness that is quite contagious. If your dog goes to the dog daycare or the dog park, they might be at risk of getting kennel cough. Even dogs who do not come into contact with other animals can get kennel cough if their owner accidentally brings it home with them after meeting a dog who has it. Dogs who are in large groups can easily transmit this illness, leading to coughing, fever, and a snotty nose.
Dogs can be vaccinated to help prevent kennel cough, and most dog daycares and other facilities that care for dogs will require that your dog is vaccinated. Puppies are the most at risk for contracting kennel cough, but any age dog can become sick with this illness.
4. Tracheal Issues
There are some breeds of dogs are more prone to tracheal collapse, but any dog could suffer from this condition after an injury or a fight with an aggressive dog. This is most common in toy dogs like Chihuahuas and pugs.
This condition causes a very distinct, spasmodic coughing. Dogs will be worse when walking on a leash since it puts added pressure on the trachea. For dogs who have been injured in an altercation with another dog, this condition might heal over time. In the case of toy dogs, this is often genetic and progressive. There are surgical interventions and medication regimens that can be followed to help dogs with this condition.
Dogs who are allergic to their environment might cough. Their allergies could be related to dust or dander from another pet, or they might be allergic to their food or the laundry soap that you have used to wash their bedding. Ruling out allergies can take some time and finding the root cause of the condition can be fatiguing. However, there are some supportive medications that your dog can be given to help them to be more comfortable if they are suffering from some form of allergic reaction.
Dogs Often Cough Because They Are Sick
If your dog has been coughing for more than a couple of days, it is probably time to take them to the veterinarian. Coughing in dogs is almost always a sign of something serious, and you should be sure that you do not accidentally ignore a serious health condition that they could be suffering from. For new dog owners, a cough might seem like it is no big deal, but this is not a normal thing for healthy dogs to do.
When you know more about the reasons that dogs can cough, you can be better at determining the right next course of action for your pet. Call Kryder + Harr Veterinary Clinic at (574) 277-6533 to talk with your vet to help you to rule out a variety of different conditions so that you can get your dog back to feeling their best. In most cases, dogs who are coughing will not get better without supportive care, so you will need to be sure that you do not wait too long, hoping that their cough will go away on its own.
Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.