Chronic Coughing in Dogs

Overview of Dogs with a Chronic Cough

Coughing is a common protective reflex that clears secretions or foreign matter from the throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea) or airways, and protects the lungs against aspiration. It affects the respiratory system by hindering the ability to breathe properly.

Common causes of a chronic cough in dogs include obstruction in the windpipe, bronchitis, pneumonia, heartworm disease, lung tumors, kennel cough and heart failure.

What to Watch For

Watch for a chronic cough, or one that lasts for more than two or three weeks. It can begin suddenly or develop gradually. An occasional, infrequent cough is normal. See your veterinarian if your pet has a chronic cough.

Diagnosis of Chronic Coughing in Dogs

Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the cough. These may include:

Additional diagnostic tests may include:

Treatment of Chronic Coughing in Dogs

Successful treatment depends on accurate diagnosis.

Home Care

Home care recommendations depend upon the underlying cause of the problem. There are several things you can do to help your pet:

In-depth Information on Chronic Coughing in Dogs

Coughing is a symptom of many different diseases or conditions. These diseases can be differentiated by various diagnostic tests. Diseases that cause coughing include:

Diagnosis In-depth

The following diagnostic tests are essential in diagnosing and treating your pet’s cough.

Radiographs are taken during both inhalation and exhalation to evaluate the airways and lungs. Fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion), lung tumors (neoplasia), or heart failure may be identified.

Additional diagnostic tests may be recommended depending on earlier test results and/or lack of response to initial treatments. Recommendations may include:

Treatment In-Depth