Reasons for Your Dog’s Coughing and When to Call the Vet

When our dogs start coughing, it can be concerning and sometimes hard to figure out what’s causing it. In today’s blog, we’re going to explore the various reasons why dogs cough and how to know when it’s time to call the vet. If you’re worried about your dog’s cough or just want more information, our team at Carey Animal Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, is here to assist. You can reach out to us at (513) 531-7117 to chat more or to set up an appointment.

dog coughing

Common Causes of Dog Coughing

Dogs cough for many reasons, some simple and others more serious. Let’s look at common causes:

  • Kennel Cough: This highly contagious respiratory disease is like a cold for dogs. It often sounds like a loud, honking cough and usually comes with a runny nose and eyes. If you think your dog has kennel cough, it’s wise to get them checked out to prevent the infection from spreading.
  • Allergies: Just like people, dogs can be allergic to things like pollen, dust, or smoke. These allergies can cause a cough along with sneezing and itching. Keeping an eye on when the coughing happens can help pinpoint the cause.
  • Heart Disease: In older dogs, coughing might signal heart disease, especially if it happens more when they’re resting or at night. This is because heart problems can lead to fluid build-up in the lungs.
  • Parasites: Heartworms are a serious cause of coughing and can lead to severe health issues of the heart and lungs. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquito bites, so heartworm preventatives are essential for your pet.
  • Foreign Objects: Sometimes dogs get a bit too curious and inhale something they shouldn’t. This can cause a sudden coughing fit. If you suspect this, contact your vet immediately as it could be dangerous.

When to Call the Vet

Knowing when to call the vet can sometimes be tricky. Here are a few signs that it’s time to get professional help:

  • Persistent Coughing: If your dog has been coughing for more than a few days, it’s time to check in with the vet. Continuous coughing can indicate a more serious condition.
  • Difficulty Breathing: Any sign of breathing trouble, like wheezing or a high-pitched sound when breathing, needs immediate attention.
  • Change in Behavior or Appetite: If your dog seems tired all the time, isn’t eating, or just isn’t their usual self, it could be because they’re not feeling well.
  • Coughing up Foam or Blood: This is a serious sign that something is wrong. Call your vet right away.

Preventing Coughing in Dogs

While not all coughing can be prevented, there are things you can do to reduce your dog’s risk of an infection:

  • Vaccinations: Keep up with your dog’s vaccinations. This is especially important for diseases like kennel cough and canine influenza, which can spread quickly.
  • Heartworm Prevention: Make sure your dog is on a heartworm prevention plan, as recommended by your vet.
  • Reduce Exposure to Allergens: If you know your dog has allergies, try to reduce their exposure to whatever triggers their symptoms.
  • Regular Check-ups: Regular visits to the vet can help catch and prevent issues before they become serious.

The Importance of Professional Guidance

While it’s helpful to understand why your dog might be coughing, it’s essential to remember that only a vet can diagnose and treat the cause properly. At Carey Animal Hospital, we’re committed to providing your dog with the best care possible. If you’re concerned about your dog’s cough, please call us at (513) 531-7117 to make an appointment. We’re here to answer any questions you might have and to provide the care your dog needs.

Taking care of a coughing dog can be stressful, but understanding the possible causes and knowing when to seek professional help can make a big difference. Your quick action could help your dog feel better faster and prevent more serious issues down the line.