If your dog has been coughing a lot lately, you might be worried about her. Although dog coughing is not a good sign at any point, there are some potential causes that are more serious than others. It’s important to learn about the potential causes of coughing in your dog so you can figure out when she might need to see a veterinarian.
Read through the information below to learn more about coughing in dogs. Check through the list of possible causes to see which, if any, sound like they might be affecting your dog.
If your dog contracts heartworms, she will likely come down with a chronic cough as part of this illness. Heartworms may cause severe damage to your dog’s heart over time. Although it is sometimes possible to surgically remove heartworms, this procedure is very expensive and very dangerous, so it is not a common one.
To prevent your dog from having heartworms in the first place, have her tested and then keep her on a heartworm preventative medication. Talk to your vet for a recommendation that fits well with your dog’s individual needs and overall health and wellness.
Heart disease and congestive heart failure are both common causes of coughing in dogs. Dogs who have moderate to severe heart disease may develop a frequent, chronic cough related to this problem, and some dog owners don’t realize their dogs have a heart problem at all until the coughing begins.
Sometimes, dogs with heart disease may cough up foam. This is part of the normal progression of the heart disease. You will need to work with your veterinarian to figure out the right way to manage your dog’s condition and keep her comfortable for the rest of her life.
Kennel cough is an extremely common condition in dogs who have spent any time around other dogs. It is caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella. Kennel cough is basically a severe cold that affects dogs, but most healthy dogs are fully capable of recovering from it on their own in a short time.
Your dog might need antibiotics if she is unable to recover well from kennel cough on her own. She might also need steroids to help manage the symptoms related to this condition. There is a vaccination for Bordetella that can prevent dogs from coming down with kennel cough.
Some dogs may develop pneumonia because of bronchitis, and others may end up with pneumonia after a serious infection from a virus or bacteria. Whatever the initial cause, pneumonia in dogs is serious and usually requires a stay at the vet to help your dog recover.
If your dog is sent home with pneumonia, make sure you closely follow the guidelines given to you by your vet. This way, you can ensure your dog has the best possible chance at getting over this condition and getting back to her usual self in no time.
Inhalation of Foreign Object
Dogs are unfortunately very prone to swallowing or inhaling foreign objects that then become lodged in their airways and cause an obstruction. Both full and partial obstructions of the airways can cause coughing, although if your dog cannot breathe at all, she will be in clear distress.
Foreign object inhalation can come from dogs who chew up their toys and then inhale pieces of them, or from dogs who tend to swallow their food whole without chewing it first. Always monitor your dog when playing with toys and consider a slow feeder bowl for dogs who eat too quickly.
Allergies in dogs may cause sneezing and watery eyes more often than coughing, but they can still cause coughing as a potential symptom as well. Dogs may suffer from seasonal allergies, pollen allergies, food allergies, and even allergies to other pets in some instances. Each of these may potentially cause coughing as a symptom.
If your dog suffers from allergies, your vet will work with you to figure out how to treat or manage this condition. You may need to switch your dog’s food or provide a humidifier for your pet to help her feel better.
Birch Lake Animal Hospital Can Help
With the help of this information, you should be ready to speak to your dog’s vet at Birch Lake Animal Hospital. Remember that you should always work with a trusted veterinary professional when you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or wellness, and only your vet can tell you for sure what’s wrong with your dog.
Your vet can also help you determine the best possible treatment for your dog’s coughing or management for her condition if it is a chronic one. Additionally, your vet can check your dog often for other concerning signs and help you maintain your pet’s health for as long as possible.
About Birch Lake Animal Hospital
The staff at Birch Lake Animal Hospital seeks to provide the best possible medical care for our highly-valued patients and clients.