Persistent coughing

Understand your pet’s coughs

We all know how it feels to get the flu virus and how irritating the constant coughing can be. The same goes for our beloved pets, and there are various reasons why animals cough. Rather consult a veterinarian to ensure that your pet is fine than ignoring a persistent cough. Make a note of the type of cough, how the cough sounds and when your pet coughs to assist the vet in diagnosing accurately.

Persistent coughing

May 31, 2019

Reasons behind coughing

Inflammation, infection, tumours, foreign bodies, allergic reactions, trauma or other mechanical factors can cause an irritation within the respiratory tract, which causes your pet to cough. Coughing serves to protect the respiratory tract from foreign and harmful objects.

Coughing can also be a sign of an underlying disease process within the respiratory tract and/or the surrounding tissues. Diseases of the heart, oesophagus, thoracic cavity, tonsils or sinuses can also lead to coughing in dogs.

The symptoms

It will help the veterinarian to have answers to the following questions:

  • Does your cat or dog cough up secretions?
  • Is the secretion bloody, foamy, watery or thick?
  • What does the cough sound like?
  • Is the cough dry or hacking?
  • Does the cough sound like a goose honking?
  • Is the cough wet and soft?
  • At what time does your animal cough?
  • Is the cough worse at night?
  • Does the cough get worse with exercise or excitement?
  • Does the cough occur when he drinks or eats?

Consult the vet

If an animal is struggling to breathe, wheezing, standing with an elongated neck to maximise air intake, exercise intolerant, depressed, has a lack of appetite, or is feverish, it is necessary to see the vet as soon as possible. Even if your pet seems healthy, but the cough persists for over 24 hours, you should make an appointment to see your vet or the resident vet at Family Vet Clinic.

Treatment

Your vet will treat your pet depending on the diagnosis. Where eosinophilic pneumonia may be treated with a prolonged course of cortisone, infectious pneumonia should definitely not be treated as such.

Your vet will be able to provide more information, and always remember to finish all the medicine that the vet has prescribed. The specific medication is prescribed for a reason and often is only effective in the long run once the course has been completed.

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