Respiratory & Throat Problems in Dogs
Canine Respiratory Infections
Respiratory conditions can be divided into upper respiratory conditions, including the nose, throat and trachea; and lower respiratory conditions, the bronchi and lungs. Bulldogs are particularly susceptible to developing respiratory conditions as their anatomy 'deviates' from the standard due to their characteristic nose.
Kennel cough is an infection of the upper part of the trachea and is caused by a combination of a virus and bacteria. Contrary to what the name suggests, kennel cough does not only occur in kennels, but due to its very contagious nature it occurs in any place that dogs come together. Symptoms of kennel cough include a hard, dry cough, general sickness, lack of appetite and energy, and in extreme cases, the expulsion of gastric mucosa. There are vaccinations against kennel cough that will lower the chances of your dog contracting the disease and if they do get it, the symptoms are less severe and the healing process is faster than in non-vaccinated dogs.
Kennel Cough Treatment
To soothe the throat and suppress the need to cough, a cough syrup can be given. It is important for your dog to have a lot of rest and, if necessary, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics or an anti-inflammatory. Make sure that your dog does not come into contact with any other dogs as kennel cough is very contagious.
Dogs can suffer from breathing problems that are signalled by tightness of the chest (after exertion) or a decrease in stamina. As symptoms can occur suddenly or worsen over time, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian if you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms. The veterinarian will perform extensive clinical tests and, if necessary, an x-ray will be taken. The reason for extensive clinical testing is that the symptoms could also be the result of a heart problem.