Have you noticed your dog coughing and hacking frequently within the day? It’s normal for occasional coughs, but your ears should perk up at “too frequent.”
With their adventurous lifestyle, your dog encounters foreign bodies like germs, dirt, dust, and more.
This being said, it’s important to pinpoint the cause for your dog’s increased coughing and hacking. Like any other situation, it may be as simple as too much dust or it could be an indication of an underlying health condition. And it’s always best to know firsthand.
To best handle your best friend’s situation, let’s tackle the questions of symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention.
What is Kennel Cough?
It’s parallel to the human common cold — but for canines.
One of the most common causes is the encounter with the Bordetella bronchiseptica m-. Your dog may catch Kennel Cough in several settings.
Kennel Cough is highly contagious.
If your dog attends group training or daycare, the risk of contracting Kennel Cough is drastically increased. On the other hand, cold temperatures, exposure to cigarette smoke and/or dust, and travel-induced stress are potential culprits.
Although, Kennel Cough is only one of the many plausible cases.
Symptoms of Dog Coughs
In terms of depending on your senses, your hearing is vital.
Specifically looking at Kennel Cough, it may sound like a forceful cough. Or in puppies, it sounds like a reverse sneeze, which indicates throat irritation. The less common symptoms include sneezing, loss of appetite and energy, eye discharge, and a runny nose.
According to PetGP, these other symptoms may indicate the need for medical attention:
- Persistent, dry, hacking, barking coughs
- Avoidance of physical activities, such as exercise and walks
- Productive cough: the presence of phlegm or fluids in coughs
- Weight loss
- Nasal or ocular discharge
- Retching and/or vomiting
- Snorting or reverse sneezing
It’s quite simple to identify the presence of a cough, however, you cannot say the same for the potential causes.
Dog Coughs: 6 Possible Causes
Let’s put aside the light case of Kennel Cough.
- Heart disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Lung complications
- Lung cancer
- Fungal infections
- Heartworm disease
Coughs caused by heart disease is due to the pressure placed on the lungs and airways. Furthermore, hacking due to congestive heart failure is caused by the presence of fluid in the lungs.
Looking at the lung complications, the common cases are bronchitis and pneumonia. These are infections in the airway, and the cause maybe by incorrect ingestion of pieces of food, seeds, or dirt. In rare cases, a possibility is lung cancer.
Unfortunate encounters are inevitable.
Through the air or physical dirt, yeast and fungi can result in fungal infections. Aside from fungi, mosquitos may spread heartworm disease as well.
In addition to more possible causes, it is in your best interest to eliminate the possibility of serious health conditions — consult your veterinarian for a diagnosis.
Treatment and Prevention of Dog Coughs
Like any other situation, treatment depends on the diagnosis.
In the event of your dog catching the Kennel Cough, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to treat the symptoms and the infection itself. On the other hand, a vaccine exists to completely prevent the contraction, however, contact your doctor on the optimal path for your dog.
You may love home remedies and we’ve got a couple for you.
Before anything, let’s place an emphasis on the way in which home remedies do not substitute for prescribed medication and vitamins. Home remedies simply provide additional relief for your furry friends!
All the hacking and coughing further damages the irritated throat through dryness and cracks. Feed your dog a half teaspoon of honey a few times a day for damage relief. On the other hand, licorice root teas can be mixed into your dog’s meals for soothing.
Post-diagnosis, heart diseases can be treated with prescribed medication, the right diet, and exercise to bring relief. For lung complications, your veterinarian will recommend medication and/or surgery to best treat your best friend.
For the prevention of heart and lung issues, dedication to a healthy diet and exercise routine can go a long way.
Fungal infections, heartworm disease, and other cases are treated individually and specifically — placing importance towards a visit to the clinic.
Your role in prevention lies in regular check-ups and paying a considerable amount of attention towards your dog — your observations can save their life.
Let’s Wrap Up Coughs in Dogs
When you get a cough, it’s simple: purchase some medication and everything will be alright.
Although, the simplicity lies in you knowing how you feel and you can personally eliminate the plausibility of serious health implications. Unfortunately, your dog cannot let you know what they are feeling. In turn, they send you signs to communicate — like a cough.
As you can see with the presence of serious health implications, your dog’s cough should not be overlooked.
Play your part: observe and act. Pay your veterinarian a visit if and when uncertain of your dog’s condition and state.
Take care, dog lovers!
Feature Image Source: Angel Luciano on UnSplash