6 Possible Reasons for Your Dog’s Coughing


Understanding the reasons behind your dog’s coughing can be a bit baffling. At Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center in Santa Clarita, CA, we often encounter concerned pet owners who notice their dogs exhibiting this symptom. It’s important to recognize that coughing in dogs can stem from various causes, ranging from mild to serious. This blog aims to shed light on six common reasons for dog coughing, helping you stay informed about your canine companion’s health. If you have concerns about your dog’s cough, call us at (661) 799-0655 for an appointment or more information.

1. Kennel Cough: The Common Culprit

Kennel cough, medically known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs. It’s often spread in places where dogs congregate, like dog parks, boarding facilities, and grooming salons through airborne droplets, direct contact, or contaminated surfaces. The main symptom is a strong, persistent cough that sometimes sounds like a honk. Vaccinations are available and are a good preventive measure, especially for dogs that frequently socialize with other dogs.

2. Allergies: An Environmental Factor

Dogs, much like humans, can suffer from allergies. Allergic reactions can cause a dog to cough, often accompanied by sneezing, itching, or runny eyes and nose. Common allergens include pollen, dust, smoke, and certain foods. Identifying and managing allergies is essential for your dog’s comfort and health. At Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center, we can help identify triggers and recommend appropriate treatments.

3. Heart Disease: A Serious Concern

Coughing can be a sign of heart disease in dogs, especially in older pets. When the heart doesn’t pump effectively, fluid can build up in the lungs or around the heart, leading to coughing, especially at night or after lying down. Diagnosing and managing heart disease early is key to ensuring your dog’s quality of life. Regular check-ups are vital for early detection.

4. Tracheal Collapse: A Structural Issue

Small breed dogs are particularly prone to tracheal collapse, a condition where the tracheal rings weaken and the airway narrows, causing a distinct, dry cough that sounds like a goose honk. This condition can be exacerbated by obesity, so maintaining a healthy weight for your dog is important. Treatment options vary based on severity but may include medication, lifestyle changes, or in severe cases, surgery.

5. Lung Problems: Infections and More

Lung problems, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, can cause coughing in dogs. These conditions often develop from bacterial or viral infections and can be quite serious. Symptoms may include fever, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. Prompt veterinary care is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.

6. Parasites: Hidden Troublemakers

Parasites like heartworms and certain types of worms can lead to coughing in dogs. These parasites are often transmitted through mosquito bites and can cause significant health issues. Preventative medications are available and highly recommended. Regular check-ups and fecal exams help in early detection and treatment of these parasitic infections.

Navigating Canine Cough Concerns

Coughing in dogs can indicate a variety of health issues, some more serious than others. It’s essential to pay attention to your dog’s cough and seek veterinary advice when necessary. At Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center, we’re committed to providing top-notch care to ensure your dog’s health and well-being. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (661) 799-0655.

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