Pregnant Dog Coughing? (what to Expect and What You Should Do About It)

A cough is an unintentional or intentional response to clear the airway of foreign sensations. You might think it to be a human response but dogs cough too for different reasons. Coughing and sneezing are normal behaviors to expect in your canine. An occasional cough could mean the presence of foreign objects in your pet’s airway, but a persistent and disturbingly consistent cough over a prolonged period may be a pointer to a different diagnosis. This can be even more worrisome when it is your pregnant dog coughing.

can dogs sense when something is wr...
can dogs sense when something is wrong with their owner

Coughing in dogs could be a result of several conditions that range from mild to severe. A cough may be associated with other symptoms like lack of energy and inactivity, loss of appetite, a runny nose, red eyes, or chills, and these should also be looked out for. A foreign object in the airway would present similarly with no other associated symptoms, in which case removal would solve the problem. However, conditions that affect the lungs, heart, larynx, or trachea could also be the culprit, and these conditions have to be ruled out when a chronic cough is noticed.  

Your pregnant pooch coughing should not scare you, and you need not panic as it is normal, just like in any other dog. A productive cough with associated symptoms that refuses to leave after a long period and after treatment might be an underlying disease that could be life-threatening and requires an appointment with the veterinarian’s office. Monitoring your pooch closely will help create the distinction.

Why is my pregnant dog coughing?

Pregnancy places your dog at risk for certain conditions, especially infections, and it is important to pay special attention to your pet during this delicate period. The growing fetus(es) place increased demand on your pet’s bodily systems, and dietary and lifestyle choices have to be modified to meet up with these adjustments.

The most common cause of coughing in all dogs is known as a Kennel cough (a simpler term for Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis) and is often the result of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Kennel cough presents as a characteristic hacking sound similar to the sound your dog would make when they have something down their throat. It is easier for a pregnant dog to catch kennel cough.

It is highly contagious and easily transmissible between dogs that frequently visit crowded places with a lot of other dogs. Visiting places like dog shows, pet shops, veterinary hospitals, grooming parlors, and dog training establishments increases the chances that your pet has contact with an infected dog. Other infections that may present with a cough include dog pneumonia and canine influenza, which may require presentation to a vet based on their severity. 

Can a Pregnant Dog Catch Kennel Cough?

Any canine can catch a kennel cough as long as they are exposed to the implicated disease-causing organisms. Your pregnant dog is prone to catching it as the gestation period is a confusing chapter immunologically.

Your pet is likely to visit places where she might have contact with infected pets, like the vet’s office, when concerns related to pregnancy arise. Your pregnant dog can catch kennel cough, and it might even take a little longer for her to recover fully. Avoiding crowded places and keeping your pet away from possible carriers is the best method for prevention. Other conditions that should also be avoided include stress, exposure to cold temperatures, smoke, and dusty particles.

Vaccines that protect against kennel cough exist but are not entirely reliable currently as there is no specific organism implicated in its cause, and further research is required. The most implicated organism in Kennel cough is a bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica. Even though this condition could be caused by several other bacteria and viruses. It takes an average of 14 days for kennel cough to develop following an infection, and the infection could be mild or severe. Dogs with a mild form of this disease appear healthy besides the cough, more severe forms present with other symptoms. 

What Should I Do About My Pregnant Dog’s Cough?

Taking care of a pregnant dog could be nerve-wracking for a pet owner, especially in their first pregnancy, as you do not know what to expect. It is also vital to make sure your dog is perfectly fine before her puppies arrive, so they do not get infected as well. Caring for an expectant dog is a full-time job as someone has to be on the lookout at all times.

The strength of your observation can go a long way in protecting your pet and her babies. Kennel’s cough usually clears off in about 3 weeks with proper bed rest but could take as long as 6 weeks in some cases. Chronic cough lasting more than 6 weeks necessitates presentation to a doctor. A vet may prescribe some antibiotics to prevent the development of critical infections and prescribe a preferred cough medicine to make healing faster and your pet more comfortable. Also, institute a healthy and balanced diet with sufficient water to clear out the toxins, adequate rest, a decent level of activity, and your pet should be back to normal in a few weeks.

If your pooch already has kennel cough, keep her away from other dogs to avoid spreading the infection. Ensure that she is warm at all times and avoid the places where she could inhale the polluted air. Kennel cough can also progress to more serious infections without proper management. Clear signs of illness like vomiting, loss of appetite, and difficulty in breathing can be indicators of a progression to a more severe condition that requires urgent care.

Conclusion 

A periodic cough is not a cause for alarm in your gravid doggy, but pay rapt attention and monitor the occurrence of cough bouts and its features. Your heavy canine is undergoing tremendous changes during her maternity period. At a time like this, it is essential that she gets enough rest, feeds adequately, does exercise, and is kept away from conditions and locations that increase her risk of catching infections or any illnesses.