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Home Bella Woof Chronic Bronchitis in Dogs – Whole Dog Journal

Chronic Bronchitis in Dogs – Whole Dog Journal

by Bella Woof

Bronchitis is an irritation of the bronchi, the tubes that lead into your dog’s lungs. You will most likely notice your dog is coughing, as that is the main symptom of bronchitis. Treatment includes soothing the dog’s throat, which may include a cough suppressant medication from your veterinarian and treating the cause.

Bronchitis Symptoms in Dogs

While coughing is the No. 1 symptom of bronchitis in dogs, depending on the cause of your dog’s bronchitis, she may also:

  • Be lethargic
  • Have a fever
  • Not want to eat
  • Have difficulty breathing (severe cases)

Causes for bronchitis include:

  • Bacterial infection such as kennel cough caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Viral infection such as kennel cough caused by parainfluenza
  • Inhaled chemical fumes
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Parasites
  • Chronic coughing because of heart or lung disease

Bronchitis Treatment for Dogs

To soothe your dog’s airway, your veterinarian will prescribe treatment for the underlying cause and possibly a cough suppressant to stop that cough.

Keep your dog calm and encourage her to rest while she recovers. Heavy breathing during play and exercise can exacerbate the cough and will slow the healing process. Your veterinarian may also recommend bringing your dog in the bathroom when you shower so she can inhale the steamy air.

Other treatments will vary depending on what caused your dog’s bronchitis. Antibiotics will be prescribed for bacterial infections, while most viral infections are treated with supportive care and symptom management. Allergies can be treated with medications and/or immunotherapy. If your dog has heart failure or cancerous tumors in her lungs that are causing the cough, she will receive medications to manage those conditions.

Chronic bronchitis in dogs will require long-term vigilance. Keep your dog’s living environment free of airborne chemicals and fumes as much as possible. Use scent-free cleaning products as much as possible. Avoid spraying air fresheners. Essential oil diffusers can also be irritating for dogs with bronchitis. If anyone in your household smokes, consider quitting or at least smoke outside to limit your dog’s exposure to secondhand smoke.

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