Cough

dog coughingYour puppy can cough for many reasons, among the most frequent are:

Tighten collar: Before you get scared, make sure your puppy does not cough because the collar is too tight.

-Respiratory tract irritated by dust, tobacco smoke, aerosols, perfumes, etc.
-Try to expel possible secretions or foreign bodies, such as splinters and very small toys, but also by choking on food.
-A virus in puppies: When a puppy coughs and has other symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, lack of appetite and even fever, he may be affected by a virus. Go to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
-Bacteries: Bordetella bronchiseptica usually affects very young puppies. Among its symptoms are coughing, sneezing and ocular discharge.
-Heart problems: When a puppy has a cough, fever and weakness but without nasal secretions, it is possible that he suffers from heart failure.
-Internal parasites: Some parasites can lodge in your pet’s respiratory system. It is just another reason to deworm the puppy.
-Allergies and canine asthma: As in the case of humans, allergies can cause inflammation in the airways. In the case of asthma, the cough is due to difficulty in breathing.

 

The diagnosis

Depending on the type and severity of the cough, the veterinarian will perform different tests to determine the cause and treatment to follow. Size and breed also influence diagnosis, since small-sized breed dogs often suffer from tracheal collapse.

For the first veterinarian evaluation, it is important that the owner of the dog provides a detailed report. The data that you have to communicate with your veterinarian is the following:

-Since when does he/she cough?
-Is it a dry or wet cough?
-When is cough more frequent (at night, during the day, when eating)?
-Does the dog have other discomforts? How is his/her general condition?
-Do you know of some pre-existing conditions such as heart disease?

 

Physical examination

The veterinarian will perform a complete clinical examination. Usually, this is enough to determine the cause of the cough. The specialist can see enlarged lymph nodes, high body temperature or fever, inflammation, redness or infection of the tonsils or throat. Sometimes a chest x-ray is necessary. Sometimes a blood test, an endoscopy or even an MRI or a tomography is also required.

 

Treatment

For the treatment, it is necessary to know the cause of the cough. When the mild cough is the result of a cold, resting is usually enough to strengthen the immune system.

If the cough is wet it may be convenient to use some mucolytic or expectorant, always after consultation with the veterinarian. Before using any homemade product, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian, since some remedies are not appropriate for dogs.

In case of severe and permanent cough, or appearance of new symptoms, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended to obtain more information. Sometimes it is necessary to administer medications such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, cough suppressants, bronchodilators…