Overview Your dog coughing on one or more occasions isn’t something to be worried about. The problem arises when days extend to weeks and then to months. If you feel that your canine’s coughing is severe and way too frequent, then you should certainly visit the vet.

The constant coughing in dogs can be indicative of a severe illness. In this article, we’ll list out all the possible causes for your dog’s incessant coughing, and possible remedies for the same.


Why Isn’t My Dog’s Cough Going Away?

Coughs are challenging to diagnose, and even if successfully diagnosed, the cause may still remain obscure. Read on to find out more about the various types of dog coughs as well as what their main reasons are.


1. Kennel Cough

A Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease but is not chronic. It is a widespread viral disease which affects the upper part of a canine’s respiratory system. If the dog is vomiting, sneezing, gagging, suffering from fever, gives a dry-hacking cough and experiences a loss of appetite, chances are he’s suffering from a kennel cough. Even when the symptoms fade away, the dogs can still have the infection for about one to two months. As a result, other dogs coming in contact with them may be susceptible to the virus. Dogs can contract this virus from other sick dogs and even from human cold. Usually, warm and inadequately ventilated areas as well as animal shelters, pet stores, boarding kennels, etc., are a breeding place for this virus.


2. Heartworm

As the name suggests, in this disease, a 7-inch to 10-inch worm starts living in our canine’s heart. This disease can affect dogs from all age groups and is a serious condition requiring immediate attention. Larvae-infected mosquitoes, upon biting the dog, transmit the heartworm into their blood and then the heart. The former are carriers of the heartworm. The transmitted eggs then hatch and start growing in the dog’s heart. If the dog is suffering from ongoing weight loss, recurrent fainting, difficulty in breathing in addition to incessant coughing, the dog may be suffering from heartworm. Dog owners should be careful as even roundworms, and lungworms can cause this disease.


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3. Auto-immunity Related Causes

Dogs often suffer from various allergies and asthma. They may have allergy from specific food items or even pollen. Both of the two can be responsible for the coughing. If he has a runny nose, watery eyes or is continuously scratching certain body parts, there is a high chance of him suffering from allergies. Dog owners should ensure that the dogs stay away from such potential triggers and smoking (in case of asthma).


4. Tracheal Collapse

If your dog suffers from sudden attacks of a cough, gagging respiratory distress or if specific body part like his nose, lips, etc., turn blue, then your dog’s trachea might have collapsed. Tracheal collapse is not that common but still can be caused by a congenital problem or when too much pressure is put on their collar. Typically, smaller dog breeds are more likely to have this. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from this disease, then taking an X-ray of the neck region will help you establish the situation better.


5. Swallowing A Foreign Object

When dogs ingest some solid, foreign substances or when something goes down the wrong way, there may be disruption of airway passage in their lungs. Your dog would continuously keep coughing in a situation like this and should be taken to the vet as soon as possible for the extraction of the foreign object.


6. Influenza and Pneumonia Dog

Influenza can lead to a respiratory tract infection and pneumonia if not treated for a long time. A kennel cough can often lead to pneumonia. This disease is severe and needs to be taken care of urgently. In these cases, dogs will continuously cough, suffer from recurring fever, feel extremely tired, and have a loss of appetite in this case.


7. Distemper

Caused by Canine-Distemper Virus (CDV), this is a highly contagious disease. Dogs need to be vaccinated against this disease as no cure has been found until now. The DHHP vaccine is the name of the vaccine and dog owners should ensure that their pets get it in time, as Distemper is a fatal disease. Mood swings, as well as coughing and fever, are some of the systems to watch out for. Lethargy and loss of appetite are also something that dogs suffer from in this case.


8. Fungal Infections

Though this is a rare case, dogs can contract this disease from yeast and fungi from dirt or from the air. Bird droppings and unclean water bodies often contain fungi that can lead to fever and rapid weight-loss. Prescribed anti-fungal medication can help curb this disease.


9. Reverse Sneezing

While this is actually more of a sneeze than a cough, it is the sounds made by a dog that people often mistake for choking or coughing. Here, the soft palate and the throat spasm due to the presence of an irritant.

Even ordinary things like exercise, pollen, collar pulling, sudden temperature change or excitement can result in reverse sneezing. Basically, the air is pulled in through his nose, in a swift and nosy way. The sad part? Most cases don’t really have any treatment.

Some Breeds Are Susceptible to Constant Coughing Yes, this is the sad fact. Congenital or breed related problems occur more frequently in certain breeds. Brachycephalic breeds are those breeds that have pushed-in faces with short noses, such as the French Bulldog. These breeds are also more likely to be affected. Pet owners who have the following breeds need to exercise even more care:

  • Boxers
  • Pugs
  • Brussels Griffith
  • American Bulldogs
  • Boston Terriers
  • Pekingese

Why may you ask? These dog breeds have very tiny nostrils as well as a narrowed trachea and a stretched soft palate which they have been genetically endowed with. This makes them more likely to cough, sometimes starting at very young ages too. Keep a look out for the most common symptoms of a severe cough which are fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, prolonged coughing bouts and other health issues.


Be Cautious but Not Overcautious

As you must’ve seen, dogs can cough due to various reasons. Common colds don’t require your immediate action, but if you feel that the recurrence and intensity are increasing then, you have to schedule an appointment with a vet.


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