Dog coughing is totally normal because it’s part of your dog’s everyday life. But if your dog is coughing a lot or it can’t stop it, it might be sick and it needs an immediate treatment.
What’s behind dog coughing?
Like us humans, dogs cough to get rid of some germs and the dust they breathe every day, but while doing so, they may get infected by some viruses. It’s part your dog’s nature to slurp and sniff, this is why some bacteria including canine fly can be easily transmitted from one dog to another. Germs may be everywhere, on the floor, furniture, toys and food bowls and can cause dog coughing.
Dog coughing refers to deep canine cough. Does your dog do that honking sound followed by gagging? Think back two weeks or so. Was your dog at the groomer, shelter or the playground? Stakes are high that your dog was around some sick dogs.
Dog coughing is highly contagious, but it’s definitely not that serious since treatments are provided. The following is a list of 5 causes of dog coughing and their treatments.
Coughing related to infections
Bacteria, parasites and viruses may all infect your dog’s respiratory track and its airways including the lung tissue. Canine flue has become prevalent in the U.S.A and can lead to symptoms such as coughing, nasal discharge and fever.
Solution: dogs infected must be subjected to a supportive care. They should be rested and encouraged to drink and eat. Severe symptoms can be cured by some cough suppressants. In the case of bacterial infection, you may refer to some antibiotics.
Coughing related to heartworm disease
Mosquitoes’ bites transmit parasites from one dog to another causing heartworm disease. Usually, larva transmitted by mosquitoes migrates to directly the lungs and the heart of the infected dog. This larva may be developed into a more mature form and take the spaghetti shape. They usually cause inflammation and lead to the damage of your dog’s lings and heart.
Solution: some medications may be effective and can be prescribed by your vet. We can’t hide the fact that once the disease is developed the treatment might be costly and risky.
Coughing related to heart disease
Various types of heart disease can result in dog coughing including: Endocardiosis, congestive heart failure, mitral valve and many other diseases.
Solution: some vets may prescribe some medications that might normalize your dog’s blood pressure and reduce strange build-up fluid. Medications include enlapril and furosemide. Your vet may suggest a surgical intervention to install a pacemaker.
Coughing related to the breaking down of trachea
Usually small dogs are at a high risk of having their cartilage ring, which surround trachea, destroyed. When the trachea is collapsed, it can eventually lead to a chronic cough which sounds like a goose honk.
Solution: Some medications that can dilate airways and suppress coughing can be prescribed and may help in these cases. Surgery may be the only solution in some severe cases.
Coughing related to larynx
In most cases, dogs that have laryngeal paralysis cannot open their windpipe, especially when the nerves that control the muscles which surround the windpipe are weak. This may cause a shortage of breath and a noisy coughing.
Solution: In this case surgical intervention is required to open the sides of the larynx and ease the breathing of your dog.
Coughing related to foreign objects
Sometimes dogs inhale some foreign objects that lodge in their airways. Their bodies’ natural response is to cough loud in order to remove it, but other times it is hard to cough it out.
Solution: you can remove such object either through surgery or endoscope.
As mentioned above, coughing is natural but if it worsens and continue over the course of a week or so, you should immediately have an appointment with your dog’s vet.