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coughing dogs and cats- what is that cough? Companion Animal Vets

November 10, 2019


hey everyone welcome to ask the vet here
at companion animal vets in Dapto. Oh I’m Melissa and today we’re talking about
cooughing. So cooughing… we’re seeing quite a lot of dogs with coughing at the moment
in the last couple of weeks and many of them have coughing for different reasons
so I thought talking about coughing today cats I’ll mention as well cats
don’t cough very often so in general if a cat is coughing then it’s something
that’s needs to be looked at so in general cats don’t cough very much at
all so if you are hearing any coughing in a cat that’s probably something that
needs to be looked at but we’ll talk about cats a bit after the dogs so what
I’m going to talk about today is we’ve had a few people mentioned that
they’ve heard that kennel cough is around we call it canine cough rather
than kennel cough because it’s a disease that doesn’t just happen in kennels so
what canine cough is canine cough is a highly contagious cough that’s
caused by a number of different bugs it’s not just one virus or one bacteria
it’s multiple bacteria and viruses that can call this causes group called canine
cough and one of these is a highly highly contagious cough that means that
if one dog coughs and the other one is another dog’s nearby they’re very
very likely to come down with symptoms the other thing is is these viruses and
bacteria can actually live for a period of time in their environment so we’ve
now with dog parks and places where lots of dogs congregate hopefully if your dog
was coughing you don’t take them to those places but if they do if they
cough they can leave behind the bugs and viruses on surfaces
they can live for a couple of weeks and then if your dog comes by and walks
around and sits there and then licks themselves there’s a chance they can
catch the disease in that way it’s very very very unlikely to be a
fatal disease unlike some of our other nasty viruses but it’s highly contagious
and when an animal has canine cough in it and alone a contagious cough then
it’s it’s quite violent so what happens is is they cough and cough and cough and
cough and cough and cough and cough and they don’t really stop they cough and cough
any sort of pressure on their on their windpipe any sort of thing on their
leave touching eating drinking anything that irritates their throat
they coughing the coughing take off the neck off and so they go from not
coughing it all to suddenly coughing almost all the time and those dogs often
have an infection the thing is we vaccinate against canine cough it’s one
of the things we can vaccinate against but respiratory vaccines just like in
people they’re not perfect and because there’s lots of different bugs that can
cause these canine cough this canine cough group that the vaccines don’t
always work 100% but if your dog is vaccinated against the two bugs we
vaccinate against which is parainfluenza and Bordetella then if they do catch
canine cough they generally don’t get as bad symptoms so they don’t cough as much
and it doesn’t last as long they’re able to get over it a bit more quickly that’s
why vaccination is too important even if you don’t go to kennels but you go
anywhere where lots of dogs congregate because they can transmit it so that’s a
that’s an infectious cough that’s a cough that happens something so young
dog old dog doesn’t matter totally normal in something starts coughing off
and they go off their food as well they’re pretty unhappy and so those dogs
obviously need to be seen at the vet clinic they need to be looked at they
may need medication and they need to be checked out and don’t ever be offended
if you ring up and say that your dogs coughing in our clinic our nurses will
ask you to stay in the car park until your consult is ready to be done so that
we’re not bringing potentially infectious animals into our waiting room
because that’s the last thing we want to do and either the vet will come out to
the car park and see your pet in the car park or in the car and then decide
whether they’re able to come into the clinic or not, or we’ll see them outside
so that we’re not transmitting the bugs around into our clinic as well or to any
other animals that are in hospital because obviously we also need to
protect our animals that are in the clinic actually in the hospital the sick ones
as well so don’t never be offended if that’s the case it’s just with coughing
our receptionists are trained to keep those animals out of the practice so that’s a
sudden cough feeling unwell often young animals out and about or if they’re not
vaccinated against canine cough. Do we have a question? We have a question no
problem if I have a cold can my dog catch it? very very unlikely cold viruses
can to be very very species specific it’s a great question and we get asked
it all the time but they’re generally fairly species specific so it’s unlikely
if it’s a contagious cough or a contagious thing like a cold in a human
being then it’s very very rare with that transmitted between species but I guess
you can say never say never because that’s how some cold viruses are
transmitted from birds to people and all that sort of stuff but yeah I’ve never
even heard of it happening with a dog and a human being so it’s a great
question that when lots of people ask it all the time so but highly contagious
within all species that canine cough group so within dogs very very
contagious so the other forms of cough we’ve turned
to worry about so dogs coffee every now and then naturally like to us we have a
bit of a cough to get over it that’s nothing to worry about but if you’re
really icing that you’re hearing your dog cough fairly consistently that means
every day or every couple of days you’re hearing in a copy of coughing episode
then that probably means that’s not normal if you have a young dog that’s
coughing like that that’s definitely not normal if you have an older dog then we
start to worry about other causes of coughing so we have some chronic forms
of coughing which are allergic type coughs which is called allergic bronchitis and
that can have all the dogs and it tends to be a dry
cough that tends to happen during the day or when again when they’re drinking
water or eating and they start to cough at sort of intermittent times during the
day less likely to be having coughing at night it tends to be a daytime cough but
it can’t they sometimes can cough at night in the older dogs that are over
their age of eight or nine with coughing we start to get very concerned about
other diseases like heart disease or heart failure coughing from heart
failure we tend to see as a night time cough so it’s that sort of quiet sort of
you know gentle cough that’s more fluidy sounding and it tends to happen
overnight, don’t laugh at me Emily! I’ll start doing some other demonstrations of
cooughing do you want me to yeah I’ll get there so it tends to be a nighttime cough or what
we call exercise intolerance coughing so it’s when they’re excited they coughed
when they get excited and their heart rates go high or they cough when they’ve
been running or exercising and their heart rates gone up because of that so
that denser when we start to worry about heart disease or heart failure so that
again should have a checkup we also see some nasty coughs in little
dogs that can have what we call a collapsing trachea so the trachea is your
windpipe so it goes down from your throat down into your lungs and we have
a few different breeds of dogs particularly smaller dogs that can have
this problem alot of collapsing trachea it can either be the initial or primary
cause of the problem or it can happen after chronic coughing has happened for
a long period of time and that’s where we start to worry about dogs that are
coughing for a long period of time because they can lead to other problems
so I can start with one problem change to something else and that’s what a
goose honk off and Emily’s going to laugh even louder
at the moment because I’m going to try and demonstrate it but it seriously it
has a very particular sound and it’s a real huh sort of sound it’s got the
vocalization with it so it sounds we call it a goose honk off and if you’re
hearing that sound in your pet then again it’s a really important thing to
be checked out but because chronic cough actually leads to cough so if your dog
costs for a long period of time no matter what the cause are no it was
often we can never get rid of that cough completely because of the damage that’s
been caused by the coughing that’s happened before him so I guess the take
home message today is if you’re hearing coughing then probably have a checkup
it’s not normal it may be something we can either treat and cure like a like a
I’m ok I’m cough that’s gonna go away completely or it may be something that
we need to work out a form of control to help it prevent causing more problems in
the future or it could be heart failure which we really need to get on top of
and we can prolong life dramatically with medications and things even without
early on many many cases so that’s coughing in dogs coughing in
cats as I said coughing is very rare in cats if cats are coughing there is
generally an underlying disease they also have allergic bronchitis it used to
be called feline asthma so cats that allergic form of bronchitis is actually
probably the most common cause of coughing people often think coughing is
furball it’s something that I get told every all the time you know he’s just
got a furball coughing actually isn’t furball if you’ve got a furball and
they’re trying to vomit it up then now gag they’ll do that and bring up a
furball if they’re coughing that is not a firm
or coughing comes from the respiratory system not from the stomach so if your
dog if your cat is actually coughing then that’s not that’s not furball that
is something else going on so if they’re coughing it’s very abnormal cats get
less coughing from heart disease not really a problem with coughing in cats
heart disease causes other problems they get fluid around their lung
so we get breathing problems rather than coughing problems so bronchitis is the
most common we can also get some lung lung roaming cats in in Sydney and
around these areas so that can cause coughing as well so if you’re seeing
coffee in a cat then it’s really important that they get checked out
because there is generally something going on it’s not just something that
they do every now then you know dogs sometimes they too quickly or they drink
too quickly and they’ll have a bit of a cough we don’t worry about that so much
being cats pretty rare for it to be a normal thing to happen so that’s all
about coughing today I hope that’s been helpful and if you think of anything you
want me to talk about send us a message on Facebook or if you have any questions
about coughing give us a call or a message on Facebook thanks see you later

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1 Comment

  • Reply Charlotte Doodeman July 22, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Very helpful!!!! Love you guys!

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