While coughing in dogs is not a disease in itself, it can be a signal of various illnesses, including Kennel Cough, Pyothorax and Canine Tuberculosis or of other conditions such as congestive heart failure. Sometimes a cough or gag by a dog is a reaction to food or foreign items lodged in the throat, and if it helps expel these it can help prevent more serious conditions such as pneumonia. If you have a coughing dog, make not of the type of cough (that is, dry, raspy or moist), as this can signal different underlying ailments. A moist cough, for instance, indicates fluid in the bronchial cavities and could point to the presence of foreign material there that could lead to severe inflammation, puss formation, edema, injury and even respiratory collapse.
Diseases and Conditions Signaled by Dog Cough
· Pyothorax – This common disease causes a dog to cough as a result of puss and fluids accumulated in the lungs and bronchial tubes.
· Heart problems – Dogs with heart problems often cough after they become excited or have just exercised.
· Food obstruction – Many dog coughs are actually attempts to remove food that was improperly chewed and has become lodged in the esophagus. If food is not expelled properly and enter the respiratory tract, a dog will continue to cough to expel it and prevent any further complications such as pneumonia.
· Parainfluenza – This viral infection is characterized by a dry cough combined with sneezing. It is a highly contagious respiratory illness requiring a visit to your veterinarian.
· Kennel Cough – A raspy cough could signal "kennel cough" or dog bronchitis, a highly contagious illness often caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica or another virus or infection. It is preventable with a vaccine, but once infected; your dog should see a veterinarian.
· Canine Tuberculosis – This is similar to tuberculosis in humans and characterized by a cough that produces blood.
· Edema of the Lungs – This cough often afflicts dogs living in poorly ventilated homes.
Dog Cough Treatment and Prevention
· Cough suppressants, expectorants, anti-tussive and herbal remedies to treat benign dog coughs as a symptom of a larger problem.
· Antibiotics for viral or secondary bacterial infection in the respiratory tract, such as Clavamox , as prescribed by your veterinarian can be very helpful in treating dog cough.