The onset of coughing in a dog either young or old necessitates a health visit to your local vet. A frequent cause is “Canine Cough”, a contagious upper respiratory disease that produces a hacking or retching cough. Owners often believe their dog has something stuck in its throat and this is something the vet needs to rule out. Dogs with canine cough are usually still very bright and eating well, but will cough especially when excited. Several airborne microbes including Parainfluenza virus and the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica can be involved. It is highly infectious and spreads quickly through boarding kennels, parks or anywhere dogs socialise.
Rest and isolation is indicated and cough suppressants and antibiotics may be prescribed by your vet. Vaccination is not a 100% guarantee against developing canine cough, but the course of the disease will be shorter and less severe. Our clinic routinely vaccinates annually against canine cough in dogs. Other causes of coughing include congestive heart failure and any disorder of the upper or lower respiratory tract such as tracheal collapse, pneumonia or bronchitis. Xrays of the heart and airways can be very helpful in making a diagnosis and may be reccomended by your vet.