logo
PROBLEMS / ANSWERS

Back

Cure Coughing Disorders

Dogs can't tell you when they're sick, but they may wheeze, cough and gag.
Learn to differentiate between these three sounds to find out what your puppy needs.


What causes my dog to wheeze?
Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound created by airflow through constricted breathing tubes. If your dog has an attack of wheezing that lasts more than 30 minutes, treat it as an emergency and seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. If your dog doesn't wheeze on a regular basis and has an attack that lasts less than 30 minutes, try to determine what brought on the attack.

Causes that could bring on wheezing include:

Cold or sinus infection
Tissue inflammation brought on by pollen grain allergies or paint fumes
Inhaled foreign bodies such as rug fibers or grass that are caught in the nose
Asthma
Infections such as tuberculosis and pneumonia
Tracheal damage


How can I soothe my dog's wheezing?
If you determine the wheezing isn't an emergency, soothe your dog during the attack.

Wheezing due to tissue inflammation: Turn on a humidifier or place your dog in a steamy bathroom. Steam will help open air passageways and make breathing easier.

Wheezing due to allergies, colds and asthma: Determine the possible causes and remove them from your home. Your dog may be responding to dust, pollen, household cleaners or other irritants. Things such as cigarette smoke and incense are also common offenders.

Wheezing due to tracheal damage: A tight collar and leash can injure or even fracture your dog's trachea. Keep the leash off and put on a humidifier before visiting the vet.


What causes my dog to cough?
Coughing is easy to recognize in your dog, but it doesn't always sound the same. It can sound:

Dry and hacking
Moist and bubbly
Gagging and wheezy
Harsh
Your dog's coughing often self-perpetuates as it dries the throat and leads to further irritation. If heavy, laborious breathing and lethargy accompany your dog's coughing, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Your dog's cough could result from:

Swallowed object
Hairball
Inhaled irritant
Fluid or mucus in the airway
Bronchitis
Scratchy throat
Kennel cough
Lung infection
Heart disease
Asthma
Heartworm
Collapsed trachea


How can I treat his cough?
The cough may disappear as soon as your dog gets the irritant out of his system. If you want to loosen up your dog's phlegm and open up his passageways, take him into the bathroom and run a hot shower. The shower's steam may help your dog breathe better.

If your dog's coughing is persistent, make an appointment with your vet. Your dog may need a cough suppressant or antibiotic treatment to get rid of an infection. Don't give him a human cough suppressant without the permission of your veterinarian.


What should I do if my dog is gagging?
Some occasional gagging is normal in dogs. When a dog gags a great deal, he could have a blocked airway or illness. In these cases, a trip to the veterinarian is in order.

If you notice your dog gagging, check the following:

Collar: Be sure your dog's collar is fitted correctly. A collar that's too tight or has caught on something will frequently make a dog gag.

Choking: Small objects, such as bones and sticks, often get lodged across the upper palate between the teeth or caught on the pharynx, causing irritation and gagging.
 
Blocked airway: If you think an object is responsible for the gagging but can't see anything, get your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible; his airway may be blocked. If necessary, perform the Heimlich maneuver on your dog to try to dislodge the foreign object.
To perform the Heimlich maneuver, follow these simple steps:

Wrap your arms underneath your dog's belly.
Clasp your hands together in a double fist.
Place your fist just below your dog's ribs.
Press your dog's ribs with a quick upward thrust.
Repeat until the object is dislodged.
Make things easier for both you and your dog. Listen to what he's trying to tell you and know how to act if necessary. 

This article is written as a reference, I urgently recommend you to refer to your vet for any of the above problems

Back