What is coughing ?
Dog Keeps Coughing – The respiratory system has its own way of dealing with any problems it encounters during breathing. Coughing is a natural response by the body to any negative stimulus that causes obstruction in the smooth flow of air through the wind pipe of dogs. Casual coughing in dogs is a normal phenomenon and shouldn’t be seen as an alarming thing but if there is persistent coughing, it may be attributed to any underlying serious complication or disease that needs immediate medical attention and treatment. If the dog is on a routine checkup, then the vet can easily detect and diagnose the malady but in other cases it becomes the duty of the dog owner to closely observe the condition of the dog and if the situation persists, he should immediately consult a dog expert or a vet.
How to detect dog’s coughing problem?
Dogs generally convey very clear and distinct audio-visual signals of this disease.
Following are the symptoms of the dog suffering from coughing problem: –
- A dog consistently keeps coughing at frequent intervals. The coughing is found to become more pronounced during exertion, games or during cold weather. The owner finds that any short duration physical activity leaves the dog limp and fatigued.
- The cough may be accompanied with discharge of fluids that look like phlegm or mucous.
- The dog may refuse to participate in normal routine activities such as going on a walk or participating in a game or in discharge of an assigned duty. This is a clear case of deviation from normal and must be taken notice of.
- The dog may display prominent weight loss, tiredness or exhaustion on a repeated basis.
- In acute cases one may even witness discharge from nose or eyes of a dog. There might even be occasional vomiting.
- The agents responsible for coughing may bring about other associated complications that can be witnessed in the form of abnormal breathing pattern in dogs. There can be persistent sound during breathing. The dog may also resort to snorting or reverse sneezing etc.
Common causes of coughing in dogs
Coughing problem may be developed by a dog due to a variety of causes such as: –
- Coughing in dogs, if wet, may be attributed to dog flu which is also known as canine influenza. It is a contagious disease and so requires extreme care. If the owner has more dogs in home, they must be shifted away from the diseased dog. The dog must be isolated during the entire duration of the treatment.
- Bacterial infection may also cause cough. If it is associated with lung disorder, it results in Pneumonia. In such a case it may require a cure through antibiotics.
- Some coughs may develop from inherent heart diseases. The abnormalities differ from breed to breed and so does the degree of seriousness.
- The most common cause of dog cough is caused by certain viruses and pathogens found in its kennel. Hence, it is also called “kennel cough”. If a dog is to be kept in kennel, it must be mandatorily vaccinated to be on a safer side.
- There is yet another infection caused by viruses. It is called “canine distemper”. It attacks both the respiratory system and the Central Nervous System.
- In extreme cases the coughing could be result of cancer too.
- The coughing may have been caused even by a more direct cause such as swallowing a toy or any other household item that gets lodged in the throat and causes uneasiness.
General cough treatments for dogs
After a detailed diagnosis of the disease, the treatments may be undertaken as per the disease identified: –
- Bacterial Infection may be treated by administering a dose of antibiotics to dogs.
- A viral infection normally completes its own course before receding. It generally remains unaffected by medications. However, the dog may be provided supportive medicines and care in the meantime. Proper arrangement of their rest and food must be made for the entire recovery period.
- In case of a parasite infection, the dog may be subjected to a worming treatment.
- If the cough has emerged from allergies due to pollutants, pollen from certain flowers, cigarette smoke, perfumes and exhaust gases from factories and vehicles the coughing will soon recede once the dog is removed from the source point.
- If the dog is coughing due to any foreign object that he may have accidentally swallowed, then it can be removed by physical means.
- More serious diseases such as cancer may require thorough and prolonged treatment course.
- Routine health checkup of dogs must be ensured at frequent intervals.
- A dog with abnormal weight is more vulnerable to various infections, hence the owner must plan his dog’s diet in such a way so as to keep his weight within acceptable range.
- Proper care must be taken to avoid the dog’s access to items that If chewed or swallowed can cause any complications.
- Both preventive and curative measures must be taken to save dog from any complications. For this purpose, regular parasite control treatment and vaccination may prove fruitful.
- Allergic and infectious diseases may be controlled through vaccinations specially designed for such problems.