The occasional cough in an otherwise healthy dog is usually nothing to worry about. But just like us, when a dog’s coughing becomes a constant or recurrent problem it can be a sign of serious illness. Knowing some of the most common causes of dog coughing in can help you determine when you need to worry.
Coughing is associated with many different diseases in dogs and cats. Here are a few of the most common and some of the available forms of treatment.
Dog Coughing Related to Infections
Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites can all infect a dog’s upper respiratory tract, lung tissue (pneumonia), airways (bronchitis), or a combination thereof (bronchopneumonia), and cause dogs to cough. Kennel cough is the most common infectious cause of coughing. It can be caused by several different viruses and bacteria, alone or in combination. Canine influenza virus is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States and leads to symptoms like coughing, fever, and nasal discharge.
Supportive care is an important part of treating coughs caused by infections. Dogs should be encouraged to rest, drink, and eat. Cough suppressants can help with especially severe symptoms.
Antibiotics are effective only against bacteria. Viral infections generally have to run their course. Other medications are available that work against some types of fungi and parasites.
Dog Coughing Related to Heartworm Disease
Heartworms are transmitted through the bites of mosquitos that pick up larval forms of the parasite from one dog and pass them to another. The larva migrate to the heart and lungs of the newly infected dog, where they mature into spaghetti-like adults. Their presence and the inflammation that results can lead to potentially fatal heart and lung damage.
Heartworm preventative medications are extremely safe and effective. On the other hand, once the disease develops, treatment is costly and can be quite dangerous.
Coughing Related to Heart Disease
Many different types of heart disease can make dogs cough, including mitral valveendocardiosis, dilated cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure from multiple causes, and more.
Read more about dog coughing at petmd.com