Many dog owners have reported that their dog coughs when barking.
There are a few possible explanations for this.
What Is A Dog Cough?
A dog cough is nothing more than a bout of barking accompanied by coughing and/or sneezing.
It can also include nasal discharge or drooling.
The symptoms may last from a few minutes to several hours.
While there is no cure for dogs with a dog cough, most cases resolve after a couple of days.
If you suspect that your dog might have a dog cough, check his nose and mouth for signs of any discharge.
You should also watch for signs such as excessive thirst, fatigue, and increased appetite.
These could all indicate that your dog has an underlying medical condition that requires further examination.
If you don’t see any signs of illness in your pet, but he still seems ill, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Your vet will perform a physical exam and rule out other conditions before diagnosing your dog with a dog cough.
What Causes A Dog Cough?
A dog cough can occur in several different ways and for many different reasons.
The most common cause of a dog cough is a bacterial or viral infection.
This type of cough will usually go away on its own within a couple weeks.
Other causes of cough include allergies or other illnesses such as heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, liver disease, etc.
So what exactly happens when your dog coughs?
First, let’s talk about what a dog cough actually is.
Your dog’s lungs are divided into two parts — the bronchioles and the alveoli.
In between these two areas are tiny air sacs called alveoli.
These sacs are designed to allow oxygen to pass through them from the blood to the cells in your dog’s body.
As you can imagine, if the air sacs in your dog’s lungs collapse, they can’t provide enough oxygen to his body and he’ll start to become short of breath.
How Do I Diagnose My Dog’s Cough?
If you suspect that your dog has a cough, there are several ways that you can diagnose the problem.
First, it is important to determine if your dog has a cold or allergies.
Some dogs are more prone to developing these conditions than others.
However, if you think that your dog might have a respiratory condition, you should contact your veterinarian so that he can perform an examination and possibly prescribe medication.
The most common method of diagnosing a cough in a dog is by listening to the sound.
Take your dog outside into a quiet area and ask him to bark.
Then, stop and listen.
You may hear your dog making a wheezing noise as his trachea expands.
This is a normal response, but if it does not happen every time that your dog barks, then you should consult with your veterinarian about the possibility of a respiratory condition.
A second way to diagnose a cough in a dog is to examine his nose.
Dogs often sniff themselves.
Try to observe your dog’s nose while he is barking.
It may appear red or swollen.
If you notice any other symptoms such as runny eyes or nasal discharge, then you should consult your veterinarian.
Another way to diagnose a cough in a dog is to watch his breathing.
If your dog appears to be panting excessively, then you know that he has a respiratory condition.
He may also appear to be holding his breath during his barking.
Keep in mind that some dogs do breathe through their mouths while they bark.
But if your dog’s breathing changes during his barking, then you should consult with your veterinarian.
Finally, you can use your dog’s body temperature to help determine if he has a respiratory condition.
Most veterinarians recommend taking your dog’s body temperature before and after a barking episode.
If you find that your dog’s temperature increases during his barking, then you should talk to your veterinarian.
If your dog’s cough persists beyond a day or two, then you should seek medical attention.
Your veterinarian will want to rule out respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
He may also prescribe antibiotics to treat infections caused by bacteria or viruses.
After your dog receives treatment for his cough, you should monitor him carefully for signs of improvement.
After a week or so, you can reintroduce him to barking.
At first, you may need to reduce the frequency of his barking episodes by one-half or one-third.
Gradually increase the amount of time between each barking episode until the duration of your dog’s cough is reduced to less than 24 hours.
Once your dog no longer experiences coughing episodes, you can let him bark as much as he wants.
What Are The Treatment Options For A Dog Cough?
There are many potential causes of a dog cough.
Some of these include:
- An over-active thyroid gland
- Excessive exercise
- Pregnancy in female dogs
- A blocked airway
- Upper respiratory infections
If your dog is coughing, it is best to take him to the vet to be sure.
However, there are some things you can do at home to help relieve his discomfort and reduce the chances of further complications.
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Coughing?
One explanation is that the dog’s trachea is collapsing and causing the bark to sound like a cough.
This happens because of overexertion or overtraining.
It can also happen if the dog is overheated.
Dogs do not sweat but they do pant when exercising.
They lose body heat through panting which makes them feel more comfortable.
However, the excess heat can cause the trachea to collapse and make the bark sound like a cough.
Another explanation is that the dog has an upper respiratory infection.
If you notice that your dog is sneezing, coughing, or having difficulty breathing, consult your vet as soon as possible.
The vet will likely prescribe medications to help control the symptoms.
You should keep in mind that dogs with allergies may react differently to different types of medication.
They may need to try several before finding the right one.
Also, some medications may only work temporarily.
If your dog has been coughing all day long, he probably needs to go outside to cool down.
He may also need plenty of water and food.
Make sure you give your pet lots of exercise during the hot summer months so that his muscles don’t get tired from being too active.
What Are The Risks Of A Dog Cough?
A dog may cough because of allergies or an upper respiratory infection.
In either case, it’s important to act quickly to prevent complications.
If you’re unsure whether your dog is suffering from an allergy or a cold, take a look at his nose and mouth.
Do they appear red?
Is he sneezing?
If so, you should take him to the vet right away.
An upper respiratory infection can also cause coughing, but if you suspect this is the problem, then there is no need to rush to the emergency room.
An allergic reaction in dogs is very serious.
It can lead to swelling around the throat, difficulty breathing, and even death.
If you suspect that your dog has allergies, talk with your veterinarian about proper treatment.
Unfortunately, some veterinarians don’t always provide the best care.
It’s often difficult to tell which medications will work well on your pet.
So you’ll want to research the different treatments before bringing your dog into the office.
You can find useful information online by searching “vet meds” plus the name of your pet’s condition.