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Dog Coughing

A coughing dog is abnormal and could be a sign of any
number of diseases.  Dr. Sam discusses the more common
causes of
dog coughing in this video and gives you an
understanding of how coughing in dogs is worked up
diagnostically.

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Coughing in Dogs

Dog coughing can be a symptom of potentially serious
disease.  The most common disease, however, can be
treated quite easily if caught early enough.  This disease is
known as Kennel Cough.  Kennel Cough is caused by a
complex of different viruses and/or bacteria.  The most
common bacteria associated with Kennel Cough is bordetella
bronchispetica.

Other very important causes of coughing in dogs include
serious diseases such as Canine Heartworm Disease,
Congestive Heart Failure, Pneumonia and Canine Asthma.  
Canine Heartworm Disease is easily diagnosed with a blood
test.  Congestive Heart Failure may have other symptoms
and findings on the physical exam.  Often, a heart murmur
is present.  A chest x-ray is the most suitable test to
diagnose congestive heart failure.  Other tests such as an
echocardiogram may be helpful in determining the cause of
the heart failure.   Both pneumonia and asthma may have
coughing as a symptom.  Again, here a chest xray is very
helpful in the diagnosis.  In addition, your veterinarian may
want to do a CBC (cell blood count) and other more
extensive tests to determine the cause of the pneumonia.

Treatment of
coughing in dogs is of course dependent on
the cause.  Kennel Cough is usually treated primarily with
antibiotics.  Canine Heartworm Disease is easily treatable if
caught early enough.  Congestive Heart Failure in dogs is
more a matter of control and attempting to increase your
dog’s quality of life and perhaps his or her quantity of life
too.  Canine Asthma is treated with corticosteroids.  
Pneumonia in dogs is treated with the appropriate
medication depending on the organism suspected; some
pneumonias are caused by fungal agents.

- Sam Meisler DVM

The statements or information on this website have not
been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to
diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.