Dog Coughing: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Coughing is a common symptom in dogs, and it can be caused by a variety of different things. In some cases, the cough is nothing to worry about, but in other cases, it can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.

What are the causes of dog coughing?

The most common causes of dog coughing include:

  • Infections: Kennel cough, pneumonia, and heartworm disease are all common infections that can cause coughing in dogs.
  • Allergies: If your dog is allergic to something, like pollen or dust, they may cough as a way to clear their airways.
  • Foreign objects: If your dog has inhaled a foreign object, like a piece of food or a toy, they may start coughing.
  • Heart disease: Heart disease can cause a dog to cough, especially when they are exercising or lying down.
  • Tracheal collapse: Tracheal collapse is a condition in which the trachea, or windpipe, collapses. This can cause a dog to cough, especially when they are excited or exercising.
  • Other medical conditions: There are a number of other medical conditions that can cause coughing in dogs, such as lung cancer, tumors, and autoimmune disorders.

What are the symptoms of dog coughing?

In addition to coughing, your dog may also exhibit other symptoms, such as:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Mucus or phlegm production
  • Bloody sputum
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

How is dog coughing diagnosed?

If your dog is coughing, it is important to take them to the vet to get a diagnosis. The vet will perform a physical exam and ask you about your dog’s medical history. They may also order some diagnostic tests, such as:

  • Chest X-ray: This can help the vet to see if there is any fluid or inflammation in the lungs.
  • Blood tests: These can help the vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
  • Sputum culture: This can help the vet to identify the bacteria or virus that is causing the cough.

How is dog coughing treated?

The treatment for dog coughing will depend on the underlying cause. In some cases, the cough may go away on its own. However, in other cases, treatment may be necessary.

  • Antibiotics: If the cough is caused by an infection, the vet may prescribe antibiotics.
  • Cough suppressants: Cough suppressants can help to relieve the symptoms of a cough.
  • Bronchodilators: Bronchodilators can help to open up the airways and make it easier for your dog to breathe.
  • Steroids: Steroids can help to reduce inflammation in the airways.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct a structural defect, such as tracheal collapse.

How can I prevent dog coughing?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your dog from coughing:

  • Vaccinate your dog against kennel cough.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to smoke and other irritants.
  • Keep your dog’s environment clean and free of dust and pollen.
  • Do not let your dog eat or chew on foreign objects.

What should I do if my dog is coughing?

If your dog is coughing, it is important to take them to the vet to get a diagnosis. The vet will be able to determine the cause of the coughing and recommend the best course of treatment.

Here are some additional tips to help you care for a dog with a cough:

  • Keep your dog calm and relaxed.
  • Encourage your dog to rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid taking your dog for walks or exercising them until the cough has resolved.
  • If your dog is coughing up mucus or phlegm, you can help to clear their airways by gently rubbing their throat.
  • If your dog is coughing up blood, you should take them to the vet immediately.

With proper care, most dogs with coughing will make a full recovery.

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