You may find it unnerving as a pet owner when your furry friend coughs seemingly for no reason. But have you ever wondered if there’s a deeper meaning behind these coughs? In this article, we’ll discuss the various types of pet coughs and their possible causes, as well as steps you can take to ensure your pet’s respiratory health.
Kennel Cough in Dogs and Cats
Kennel cough is a contagious respiratory disease caused by the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium or a virus. Dogs can contract it through contact with infected animals, shared surfaces, or inhaling the bacteria from the air. Cats can also develop a similar condition.
Transmission and Risk Factors
Dogs and cats in daycare facilities, pet shows, or any place where they come in contact with many other animals are most susceptible to kennel cough. The bacteria and viruses that cause kennel cough can spread through the air and contaminated surfaces, such as toys and food dishes.
Symptoms and Signs of Kennel Cough
A dry, honking cough is the primary symptom of kennel cough. Although most pets remain energetic, running and playing could exacerbate the cough. In cases where a secondary bacterial infection develops, your pet may exhibit low fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and a runny nose.
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment for kennel cough typically involves rest, cough suppressants, and antibiotics. Vaccines are available to prevent Bordetella bronchiseptica infections but may not protect against viral causes. To minimize the risk, ensure your pet’s clean and well-ventilated living environment.
Canine and Feline Influenza
Pets can also contract canine and feline influenza caused by various flu strains. Dogs exposed to canine influenza are particularly vulnerable since they have not yet developed immunity.
Symptoms, Transmission, and Risk Factors
Canine and feline flu cause symptoms similar in nature to kennel cough, such as the following:
- moist cough
- nasal and eye discharge
Transmission occurs primarily through contact with infected animals, contaminated surfaces, or exposure to the virus in the air. Outdoor pets or those who frequently interact with other animals face the highest risk.
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment typically includes rest, fluids, and medication to manage fever and inflammation. Antibiotics may also be prescribed in the case of a secondary bacterial infection. Vaccines are available, but their effectiveness varies depending on the flu strain.
Treatment and Management
Treating feline asthma often involves corticosteroid medications, bronchodilators, and lifestyle changes to reduce exposure to irritants. For example, using dust-free litter or gentle, non-aerosol cleaners can minimize asthma flare-ups.
Other Causes of Pet Coughs
Besides kennel cough, influenza, and feline asthma, other causes of pet cough include upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, congestive heart failure, and tracheal irritation. A reputable vet and other qualified professionals can diagnose and treat these issues.
In cases of heart-related coughs, a veterinary cardiology expert can help to diagnose and provide the proper medication to the animal.
Recognizing When a Cough Needs Veterinary Attention
Identify your pet’s usual behavior and demeanor to recognize unusual cough symptoms. If your pet’s cough persists, comes with a high fever, or is accompanied by difficulty breathing, seek veterinary care from a canine respiratory specialist immediately.
Tips for Preventing Respiratory Issues in Pets
Keep your pet’s environment clean and allergen-free, and limit their exposure to crowded or unhygienic social settings. Regular check-ups with the veterinarian in Westminster, CO, will ensure a proactive approach to your pet’s respiratory health.
Understanding the various types of pet coughs and their potential causes can help you recognize when your furry friend may need professional care. Being attentive to your pet’s respiratory health and maintaining a clean environment can keep them feeling their best.