You should see a vet if your dog is coughing persistently. Most of the time, though, it doesn’t need immediate medical attention.
However, depending on the overall circumstance I might see a vet the same day or early the next. Particularly if a cough seems bothersome to my dog.
Such as with Jasmine who one day started coughing after a serious barking session with a neighbor’s dog. At first, we thought all that barking irritated her throat. But she kept coughing throughout the day.
When we got to the vet, they found out her lymph nodes were also enlarged. That was a scary thing. Particularly since the vet was rather blunt in saying that it’s either an infection or lymphoma. Just like that. It was decided to do a therapeutic trial with an antibiotic and, fortunately, the cough resolved quickly and all was well. I still remember how weak my knees got at the word lymphoma, though.
What are the potential causes of your dog’s coughing?
The most common cause, everybody is familiar with, is kennel cough. If your dog was recently boarded, or spent time in places with a lot of dogs, kennel cough is a top suspect.
Other respiratory infections can be to blame. Your dog might be suffering from an inflammatory or an immune condition. Trauma or foreign bodies can certainly be behind a cough as well. Some of these are more serious than others.
Some of the more serious causes include heart disease, tracheal collapse, fluid accumulation or cancer. Because there is no good way to tell which is which I don’t hesitate to see a vet sooner rather than later.
When is coughing a true emergency?
If your dog needs prompt veterinary help if they:
- cough for more than 6 hours
- have a hard time breathing
- cough to the point of vomiting
- are coughing up blood
- are lethargic or depressed
- stop eating
When you’re unsure whether or not you should take your dog to a vet, take them.
Coughing in Dogs: Why Is My Dog Coughing and Should I Worry?
Why is My Dog Coughing? Common Causes and Treatment Options