WARNING

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]

3 Reasons Why Your Pet Could Be Coughing

Has your furry friend started coughing? Honking, hacking or raspy coughs can be alarming, particularly when they start suddenly. Although temporary throat or respiratory irritations may be to blame, coughing can be a sign of one of these health issues.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a contagious respiratory disease commonly caused by the bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium or a virus. Dogs catch it by interacting with other dogs that have been infected. Pets that participate in training or agility classes, spend time in boarding or daycare facilities, participate in dog shows or are often around large groups of other dogs are most at risk of developing the disease. Dogs contract the bacteria or virus by inhaling it from the air or sniffing contaminated surfaces, such as toys or food dishes.

A dry, honking cough is the most noticeable sign of kennel cough. In most cases, your dog will continue to be energetic, although running and playing may temporarily worsen the cough. If your pet develops a secondary bacterial infection as a result of kennel cough, low fever, runny nose, lethargy and loss of appetite may occur.

The infection is mild in most dogs, but some may develop pneumonia. Puppies and dogs of any age with compromised immune symptoms are more likely to develop pneumonia. In severe cases, kennel cough can cause death.

Recovery from kennel cough usually takes about 10 to 14 days. Your dog's veterinarian may prescribe cough suppressants or antibiotics, depending on the severity of the disease. While your dog recovers, it's important to limit his or her usual activities and avoid using collars, as they can irritate the throat. A bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine can help protect your dog from contracting kennel cough, although the vaccine won't prevent infections caused by viruses.

Canine and Feline Influenza

Several strains of the flu can sicken your cat or dog. The first canine influenza strain emerged in 2004, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Because the illness if fairly recent, many dogs haven't yet been exposed to it and haven't developed an immunity. The Association notes that nearly every dog exposed to canine influenza will develop the viral illness. Canine influenza causes a moist cough, sneezing, fever, loss of appetite, nasal and eye discharge and lethargy. Some dogs will develop the more severe form, which causes a high fever and pneumonia.

The illness usually lasts about 10 days to one month. Limiting your pet's activities during the recovery period can be helpful. Your dog's veterinarian may recommend intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce fever and aches and pains. If your pet develops a secondary bacterial infection, antibiotics will be prescribed. Canine influenza vaccines are available, but may not be effective against all strains of the influenza virus.

Cats experience many of the symptoms that dogs do when they catch the flu, such as coughing, fever, lethargy and runny nose. Treatment of feline influenza is the same as for dogs. Your cat may need IV fluids if he or she becomes dehydrated and antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections. Visit the veterinarian immediately if your cat or dog has the flu and develops a high fever or difficulty breathing.

Feline Asthma

Coughing is just one sign of feline asthma, a disease that affects the small airways in the lungs. When an asthma attack occurs, the airways narrow and fill with mucus, making breathing difficult. Asthma produces several telltale signs in addition to coughing, such as shallow, rapid, mouth breathing and wheezing.

Asthma attacks may be triggered by allergens and irritants, including tree and grass pollens, mold, mildew, smoke, aerosol sprays and dusty cat litter. You may be able to reduce your cat's flare ups by taking a few preventative measures, such as removing mildew from your home, switching to a dust-free litter or using gentle, non-aerosol cleaners.

Corticosteroid medications and bronchodilators used to treat asthma in humans are also helpful in pets, although the dosages are much lower. Your pet may even benefit from nebulizer treatments delivered through a cat-sized mask. If your pet has severe difficulty breathing or his or her nose has turned blue, seek emergency veterinary care.

Are you concerned about your pet's cough? Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

American Kennel Club: Kennel Cough in Dogs, 1/5/16

http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/kennel-cough-symptoms-treatment-and-prevention/

University of Minnesota: Center for Animal Health and Food Safety: Feline Influenza

https://www.cahfs.umn.edu/sites/cahfs.umn.edu/files/cahfs_website_fs_feline_influenza_may_2016.pdf

Cornell Feline Health Center: Feline Asthma

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/Asthma.cfm

AKC: Dog Coughing: Causes and Treatment Options, 11/22/16

http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/dog-coughing/

AVMA: Canine Influenza FAQ

https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/FAQs/Pages/Control-of-Canine-Influenza-in-Dogs.aspx

Exclusive Offer

AAHA Accredited

New clients receive 15% OFF first visit.

THIS ---->https://balboapethospitalcom.vetmatrixbase.com/index.php

Office Hours

DayOpenClosed
Monday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Tuesday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Wednesday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Thursday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Friday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Saturday7:30 AM5:00 PM
SundayClosedClosed
Day Open Closed
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
7:30 AM 7:30 AM 7:30 AM 7:30 AM 7:30 AM 7:30 AM Closed
6:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM 5:00 PM Closed

Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

Newsletter Sign Up