Coughing & Sneezing

Coughing & Sneezing: Trouble Ahead for Animals?

It's that time of year again.  It's the season for coughing & sneezing, for us.  But what about our furry, four-legged friends?  When we have a cough and/or a sneeze it's usually indicative of another, often more serious, problem.  Fortunately, at Forest Hill Animal Hospital in Germantown, there is a veterinarian who is on staff and qualified to deal with these problems. And much more.


When an animal coughs or sneezes it's often nothing more than a minor irritant in their throat or nose.  These problems go away about as fast as they occur.  Unfortunately, they can also be a sign that something more serious is going on.  This includes problems such as so-called "dog flu," kennel cough, and other conditions.  Most of these occur as a result of a bacteria or a virus that is inhaled through their respiratory tract.  A qualified veterinarian, such as those found at Forest Hill Animal Hospital, will be able to tell and difference and recommend a course of treatment.

Many problems that cause symptoms in animals are highly contagious, but not to humans.  Humans can carry the bacteria or virus, but can only be transmitted to other animals.  Once an animal comes into contact with the bacteria or virus, it sticks to the mucous membrane in their respiratory tracts and from there continues to sicken the animal.  

Most cases of these types will disappear after a day or two.  If a dog has a persistent cough or sneeze that lasts several days, however, or develops a thick, yellow nasal discharge, or they become lethargic, they should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.  If a veterinarian suspects that your dog has dog flu or similar problem, they will probably give them fluids to keep them from becoming dehydrated and prescribe medication to treat their other symptoms.

If your dog has a persistent cough or sneezes it is a good idea to keep them away from other animals, even if those other animals are in the same house since there is a high probability that the problem will be transmitted.  Likewise, if other dogs have a cough or sneeze, keep your dog away from them until the problem has gone away.

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It is only by having your dog seen by a qualified veterinarian that they can be accurately diagnosed when a cough or sneeze begins.  There are several vaccines available to treat these problems in other animals, but nothing yet for dogs.  Fortunately, there are other drugs that can treat the problem once it has occurred.  Bring your dog to Forest Hill Animal Hospital in Germantown for unparalleled veterinary care for your dog, regardless of what their medical problem might be. You can call us at 901-754-5007 to schedule an appointment today!