Dogs can be very good-natured, and they might not even act that sick when they aren’t feeling very well. This is one of the reasons that coughing in dogs might be ignored for longer than is ideal by some pet owners. Coughing in dogs can be related to a variety of health concerns, some of them quite mild and some of them more severe in nature.
If your dog is coughing, you will probably want to take them to see the veterinarian. There are many kinds of conditions that can cause this symptom, and you might need help figuring out which of these health concerns is the reason for their coughing behavior. Coughing is not a normal part of a dog’s behavior on a daily basis, so frequent coughing is always a sign that something is not right with your pet’s health.
1. Sore Throat
If your dog has gotten a cold or they have swallowed something that is irritating to their throat, it might be sore. This can cause coughing that is normally directly related to eating. If your dog seems to be coughing the most when they eat or when they are exercising, a sore throat might be the reason for their cough. This kind of problem can lead to secondary infections in the throat and the lungs, so getting your vet involved is a good idea.
There are also other more severe things, like a collapsed trachea, that might be indicated by coughing, so making sure that your dog is not about to be in severe distress is a good idea.
2. Lung Issues
Illnesses, secondary infections, and things like lung cancer can all cause coughing in dogs. Your vet might have to take images of your dog’s chest cavity to be able to see if there is something like a tumor or a foreign body in the lungs. Lung concerns might just require some medications and some rest from hard exertion, or they could be more serious and require long-term care.
Lung issues can greatly impact your dog’s quality of life, so you do not want to ignore this kind of issue for very long. Getting on top of an issue with your dog’s lung health will help them to lead a much happier and more comfortable life.
3. Tracheal Collapse
While some dog breeds are more prone to this problem than others, all dogs can suffer from tracheal collapse due to injury. Some breeds with short necks, like the Pug, can have a tracheal collapse that is essentially spontaneous. Other tracheal collapses are related to obesity or pulling too hard on the collar when going for a walk.
Tracheal collapse can cause a honking noise that sounds like a cough. Many dogs can live a long and full life with this condition, but you will need to adjust some of their activities, and you might need to change their diet to accommodate their condition.
Dogs can get seasonal allergies like people, and they can also be allergic to things like cleaning products or other animals in the house with them. You might need to work with your vet to get your pet onto a medication protocol that helps to manage their coughing and their runny nose, but you will also need to try and figure out what is causing the problem.
Ruling out allergens can take some time, but it is worth it to go to this trouble for your pet. Allowing allergies to go on unchecked for months or years can lead to secondary issues with lung health that are worth avoiding.
When your dog has exerted too much when playing, they might start coughing as they are panting. This is usually not a sign of anything severe, and forcing your pet to take a break from playing can alleviate this symptom. However, If your dog has been playing hard in the heat or has been outside in hot weather for too long without shade or water, they might have heatstroke.
Make sure that you look for other signs of distress like vomiting, lethargy, confusion, and collapse. Coughing and panting very hard can be early warning signs that your dog has heatstroke, and you will need to get them to the vet right away if this is the case. Dogs have trouble cooling themselves off effectively when it’s very hot, and heatstroke can be quite deadly once a dog has it.
This parasite is a slow killer of many dogs, and it is more common in some states than others. If your dog has been coughing on and off but otherwise seems to be feeling fine, it is still worth having them tested for heartworm. This parasite infests the heart, and it can cause severe secondary symptoms, as well as death, if it is not treated. In some dogs, this parasite can cause damage quite rapidly, and by the time symptoms have shown up, there is not much to be done.
Keeping your pet protected against heartworm is always a good idea, no matter where you live. The process of providing protection is as easy as feeding your dog a small treat on a regular schedule. Your vet can advise you about the recommended schedule for these preventative treatments and make sure that you have the necessary medications to provide them.
Coughing in Dogs Can be Related to Many Conditions
If your dog is only coughing once in a while, this might not be something that you need to worry about. However, if your dog is coughing all the time, you will need to take them to your Live Oak Veterinary Hospital vet. From parasites to tracheal issues, there are many reasons that your dog might need to see the vet for treatment related to their coughing. Caring for a pet that is suffering from this symptom is important so that you can get on top of health concerns that are serious right away.