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Help! My Senior Dog is Coughing

Close up of the head of a dark grey, Great Dane

You Want Your Pet to Be Healthy…Always

It is a common attitude among pet owners that their loving dog should be pain and disease-free. After all, your pet gives you so much and asks for so little in return. However, life is not fair and senior dogs do contract a hacking cough.

To learn more about this cough’s source and what you can do about it, simply continue reading our article. It provides this information and more so you can get the right treatment for your beloved pet.

My Senior Dog Has a Hacking Cough

Old golden retriever layin on its side

When your dog gets to that certain age, he or she will experience more medical issues. One of the signs of a health problem will be a hacking cough. There are a variety of sources that may cause this cough and those include heart disease, lung cancer, and laryngeal paralysis.

In most cases, you should go to your vet and get a proper diagnosis and the right medication. Some diseases that cause hacking coughs can be treated and prevented with a simple vaccination.

A one-off hacking cough is nothing to be worried about but when your dog coughs a lot, then you should take him or her to the vet and see what is wrong.

Some of the Sources for a Hacking Cough

Brown dog laying off of a blue couch

There are several common sources that bring a hacking cough to your pet. Some can be prevented if you give your dog the right vaccination. The following are just some of those sources:

1. Kennel Cough or Bordetella Infection

If your dog has not been vaccinated against this disease, and you board him or her with other dogs, there is a possibility they could contract kennel cough. This disease is highly contagious so it is highly recommended you get the vaccination early in your pet’s life and keep it up throughout their lives.

2. Tracheal Collapse

This problem is seen more often in older, overweight dogs as well as smaller ones. Listen to the sound of the cough as this problem’s clue is a honking-like cough. Also, your pet may get this cough when they are eating or drinking and one sign is they lose interest in their normal activities

3. Canine Distemper

Another disease that can be prevented through vaccination. The clues that tell you your dog has contracted it a dry cough, followed by being tired all the time and yellow mucous coming from their eyes and nose. If your pet has been vaccinated for this disease, then look for another medical issue.

4. Heart Disease

When your pet’s heart gets enlarged it can obstruct your pet’s airways. When that happens, your senior dog starts to cough. If your dog’s heart is normal, you should look to see if they got heartworms as those little creatures can cause the same problem. A build-up of fluid is another source for a hacking cough

5. Fungal Infections

If your dog is a city dog, he or she may never come in contact with farm animals and their waste. This disease usually occurs in farm animals where pets have a lot of contact with chickens and other animals who drop their waste everywhere. Or you live in a very humid region of the country and your pet inhaled mold or other bacterial spores that travel through the air.

What to Do When Your Senior Dog Has a Hacking Cough

Yellow retriever laying on a white couch

Before you leap to a conclusion and decide your pet has one of the above illnesses, check other non-life threatening sources first. Your dog may have tried to swallow something and it got caught in their throat. Or your pet is having an allergic attack.

Rule out these easy to remedy sources first. If they are not the problem then take your pet to your vet as soon as possible. The faster you get a diagnosis and treatment, the faster your dog will feel better.

Also, make sure to keep your dog’s vaccinations up-to-date. That way you know some of those sources will be prevented and your dog will be more protected throughout their senior years.

If the coughing lasts longer than 2 days, you should be concerned and take your pet to your vet. Coughing is not a sign that your dog is nearing the end of his or her life but it may be a sign of a serious illness that needs fast treatment.

Some Final Words

Yellow Retriever laying in a field with its family in the background.

No one wants to see their beloved pet get sick or even have a cough but they will and reality must be faced. However, many coughing sources can be treated and that is the good news here. Make sure your pet gets fast treatment and they should be back to normal soon.

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