Coughing is a common protective reflex that clears secretions or foreign matter from the throat, voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea) or airways, and protects the lungs against aspiration. It affects the respiratory system by hindering the ability to breathe properly.
Common causes include obstruction in the windpipe, bronchitis, pneumonia, heartworm disease, lung tumors, kennel cough and heart failure.
Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:
- Coughing is typically diagnosed through history and physical examination findings. Determining the cause of the cough may require additional testing such as bloodwork, chest x-rays, chest ultrasound, and heartworm test. In some cases, bronchoscopy, aspirates or biopsy may also be recommended.
- Treatment depends on the underlying disorder, severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Treatment may include antibiotics, cough suppressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, or other drugs to treat the underlying disease. Discuss treatment details when your pet is evaluated and the underlying condition causing the cough is diagnosed.
What to Watch for*:
- Continued coughing
- Breathing difficulty
- Lack of appetite
*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!