It’s normal for your chihuahua to cough every now and then. chihuahuas coughing is part of everyday life for an animal that can sniff 4 to 6 times per second. But if your dog does it a lot or can’t seem to stop, you may have a sick pup, and he may need treatment.
Is your chihuahua coughing as if it is clearing his throat, in order to get rid of frustrating hair that might be irritating him? If they constantly cough, do not ignore it, as this might be the initial sign of a persistent upper respiratory infection that is popularly called Kennel Cough. This is a communicable infection. However, timely prevention and treatment can retain your pet’s health. At an initial stage, the sickness may last up to 10-20 days, but it may recur if stress is put on the dog’s immune system.
Infection in the upper respiratory tract is the main cause of kennel cough. It is caused by a combination of the bacteria- Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine parainfluenza virus. The infection affects the outer lining of the air passage and throat which results in cough and irritation. The chihuahuas may also find difficulty in eating their food.
In particular, the symptoms of kennel cough include intermittent coughing that increases at night, runny eyes and nose, coughing triggered by exercise, nasal discharge, vomiting mucous at the end of a coughing spasm, sneezing, eye discharge, clear or yellowish nasal discharge, dry and callous cough, fever, and lethargic appearance.
Minor conditions that are not a cough
The owner may notice some minor conditions that can cause a chihuahua to make some strange noises. But technically we can not call them a cough. Here are two of them.
It may happen to your dog after eating too fast or after some exercise. Some owners may think it is coughing, and this is a mistake.
There are some simple ways to help your chihuahua to stop spasming. For example, you can give him to drink, or a small snack. Anything that can be the cause of changing the dog’s breathing pattern could be useful.
It is forbidden to use a collar on your dog because collars can apply huge pressure on your chihuahua’s neck, especially when their wild instinct is triggered by a small animal during a walk. To have better control over your dog and to protect him it is advisable to use a harness.
2. Reverse Sneezing
This minor condition is called so because the spasms will lead to drawing quickly the air in the dog’s nose, as opposed to sneezing in the dog blow out the air quickly.
When this occurs, your chihuahua will make odd noises, and it will look like a cough, even if it is not. Generally, this condition doesn’t last for a very long period of time, and it doesn’t cause any damage to the dogs.
Different types of coughing
1. Coughing up Blood
It has also a medical name which is hemoptysis, when this condition happens the dog may cough up fresh or dried blood, and it may be accompanied by foam and/or mucus. Moreover, hemoptysis is caused by some serious condition that requires an immediate veterinarian checkup.
Examples of some conditions that can cause a dog to cough up blood
- Heart issues
- Foreign Objects Lodged in Esophagus
- Ingestion of Poison
The list doesn’t include all the conditions.
2. Coughing and Wheezing
Noises that accompany this type of coughing will sound like a honking sound, and this can be a sign of a collapsed trachea. Also, the dog will face breathing troubles and make a wheezing sound.
Toy breed dogs like chihuahuas tend to suffer from this condition. Let’s explain how this occurs, the windpipe of a chihuahua or any other dog is a group of rings of cartilage. So; when one or more of those rings have deteriorated, then they will collapse inward and cause a dysfunction in the windpipe.
This condition will certainly cause the dog to have difficulty breathing and then the dog will make coughing noises similar to honking.
Also, Using a collar can lead also to this condition.
Signs of Collapsed Trachea
- A honking cough
- Difficult breathing
- Coughing after drinking water
This sound is a very clear sign of this type of coughing and many veterinarians used it to diagnose this condition. However, to be sure the vet may use an x-ray.
The purpose after diagnosing this condition is to heal the ring(s). So the vet may order you to never use a collar again, and start using a harness instead, or to keep your dog’s weight.
3. A Wet, Mucus Cough
This type of coughing may be a clear sign of pneumonia condition. This latter can be caused by a lot of things such as bacteria, parasites, fungi, or viruses. This condition affects mostly puppies and senior chihuahuas because healthy adult dogs have a very strong immune system and they don’t catch pneumonia. Howver, when an adult chihuahua has experienced collapsed trachea, he may be an easy prone to pneumonia
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Here are some signs of Pneumonia
- Rapid breathing
- Wet cough
- Rapid pulse
Your vet will advise you on Antibiotics that will be given, and then he will need to see the feedback to make sure that the lungs have cleared out. Because this is a very serious condition
5. Lengthened Coughing only at Night
This condition can be a sign of heart disease, known also as the congestive heart. The heart during this condition can not answer the needs of the chihuahua’s body. And it becomes incapacitated.
In addition, other parts of the body such as kidneys, lungs, and liver could be affected by this disease.
Signs of Heart Disease
- Erratic coughing
- coughing all of the time
X-rays and an ECG will be used by the vet.
The only one who is able to give you a treatment for this condition is your vet, he may recommend a low salt diet and reduce the level of exercise.
6. A Deep, Dry Cough
This condition can be a sign of kennel cough. This is a very contagious respiratory disease, for this reason, even dogs that have never been near a kennel can get this disease. It is a disease that affects the upper respiratory system, windpipe, and voice box.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough
- A dry, deep cough
- Vomiting or dry heaving.
- Watery nasal discharge
The vet may ask to do blood tests.
It depends on the level of the disease. Moderate could be left to run its course. However, severe one that triggers breathing troubles, the vet may recommend anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics for dogs that experience fever.
Home remedies to cure your chihuahua in a faster way.
1. Raw Honey and Lemon
Lemon contains Vitamin C, which improves the immune system of dogs. Mix two tablespoons of honey, one teaspoon of lemon juice, and half (1/2) cup of water. Give this mixture twice a day to your chihuahua. Alternatively, you can also give a teaspoon or two of honey for quick recovery.
Vitamins speed up the process of recuperation in your dog. Vitamin C is useful not only for humans but can also be a beneficial remedy for chihuahuas, to treat viruses and bacteria-related infections. The dosage level depends on the pet’s weight, but generally, a 500 mg tablet is a must two to three times a day.
3. Chicken Soup
This remedy may sound strange, but it’s very effective. Chicken soup soothes the throat and boosts the immune system of the chihuahua.
4. Garlic Pills
Give your pet a 500mg garlic pill every day with its daily meal. This will recuperate its immune system quickly. In addition, you may also add an Echinacea capsule for a speedy recovery.
5. Keep the Air Moist
For quick healing, keep the air moist when your chihuahua is suffering from throat problems. A vaporizer or humidifier can keep your dog’s throat from turning too dry. You may put it near to the pet’s bed or wherever it sleeps. You may also use air conditioners that have inbuilt “humidifier mode” in them.
6. Coconut Oil
It has antiviral properties that combat kennel cough. Give 2 teaspoons ofto your pet until the cough is cured. You may also pour a few drops in its food bowl or let it lick directly from the spoon.
Following our guidelines can help but the great thing you can do when you notice that your chihuahua had a persistent cough is to seek your veterinarian’s advice. The good news is that most conditions that lead dogs to cough are treatable.
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