Dog cough can have multiple causes and each of them involves problems of different severity: some are not worrying, others could be very serious for dogs.
If you have noticed that for a few days now your dog has been coughing often, you are probably interested in understanding what is the cause behind it: there are several possible reasons why dogs cough, many different conditions especially in terms of severity. Some causes of canine cough, in fact, they are not very dangerous but some problems could even be lethal to your four-legged friend.
In this article we examine 5 of the most common reasons that can cause coughing in dogs, stressing that in most cases these are health problems that can be treated or controlled with the right treatment.
Causes of cough in dogs: the top 5 of the most common
1. Heart disease
One of most common causes of cough in dogs it consists of heart disease: usually, it is a problem with the valves or heart muscle that prevents the dog’s heart from pumping blood efficiently. In these cases, the cough appears when the heart widens going to compress the lungs and airways.
If the cough is caused by a dog’s heart condition, it will usually be soft and continuous will tend to get worse at night or when the dog rests lying on its side. Usually this health condition involves a reduction of energies in the dog, which gets tired very easily. A cough of this kind is treated with specific heart medications prescribed by the vet.
Another condition that worries those who see their dog persistently coughing is pneumonia: this inflammation in the lungs is usually of bacterial or viral origin, sometimes resulting from another pathology such as flu or distemper. Dog pneumonia also causes difficulty swallowing and regurgitation.
With pneumonia, the dog has a wet and soft cough. They usually appear other symptoms besides cough, such as high fever, low energy level and lack of appetite in the dog. In addition to the necessary treatments prescribed by the veterinarian, Fido will need rest and plenty of fluids to heal completely: in severe cases, a period of hospitalization in a veterinary hospital is recommended.
3. Kennel cough
The expression “kennel cough” indicates infectious tracheobronchitis, a severe inflammation of the dog’s trachea and major lower airways that is quite common among puppies and young specimens, although it can affect dogs of any age.
Extremely contagious, it is characterized by a dry and hoarse cough that gets worse when the dog pulls on a leash. Vomiting may be added to the cough. In the rarest and most serious cases, can degenerate into bronchopneumonia and then the fever also appears. You can protect your dog from this cough with a simple one vaccine, while for the cure you have to rely on antibiotic drugs.
4. Tracheal collapse
The tracheal collapse of the dog is a condition that makes the trachea soft until it collapses on itself: it is a condition that very often it affects small dogs, such as Chihuahuas or Pugs. It is recognized for the dry and spasmodic cough that repeats itself continuously, with real attacks difficult to quell.
If the dog’s trachea collapses completely, it can take over an apparently asthmatic cough which worsens in obese or overweight dogs, or in allergic specimens.
The treatment first of all includes weight loss in the dog, various types of medicines and in severe cases also surgery.
5. Canine flu
Dogs can also get the flu and the flu can cause it a respiratory infection with persistent cough, which lasts for a period of between ten and thirty days. When the veterinarian diagnoses the flu in the dog, he can prescribe a series of specific drugs.
Canine flu can be very contagious to other pets, so if you live at home with several four-legged friends, it is advisable to separate the sick specimen from the others by placing it in a real quarantine. It is not possible, however, that the influence of the dog is transmitted to humans.
What to do if the dog coughs?
If you notice that your dog starts coughing, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible: many causes of cough in dogs are perfectly treatable, but it is essential to diagnose them in time to subject Fido to the right treatment. When taking your dog to the vet, be sure to best describe the type of cough and report any other symptoms related such as if the dog coughs white foam, mucus or blood.