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Chihuahua Cough: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Has your chihuahua cough become a concern? A coughing chihuahua who is generally healthy is typically nothing to be concerned about. However, like humans, frequent or continuous coughing in a chihuahua might be an indication of severe sickness. Understanding why your chihuahua is coughing can help you determine the best course of action for treatment.

Symptoms For Serious Chihuahua Cough

Symptoms For Serious Chihuahua Cough

Chihuahuas, like humans, cough to get rid of germs, dust, and other foreign objects in their lungs. However, chihuahua might also get viruses or infections that could cause more serious coughing.

There are a few symptoms to take note of that might indicate your chihuahua’s coughing is more than just a common cold.

➯Cough With Phlegm or Mucus

If your chihuahua’s cough is accompanied by phlegm or mucus, this could be a sign of a bacterial or viral infection. Suppose the mucus is green, yellow, or brown, this indicates a bacterial infection. If it is clear or white, this points to a viral infection such as kennel cough.

➯Coughing Up Blood

If your chihuahua’s cough is accompanied by blood, this is a sign of a more serious condition such as heart disease, lung cancer, or pneumonia. If you notice your chihuahua coughing up blood, it is essential to take them to the vet as soon as possible for treatment.

➯Shortness of Breath

If your chihuahua has difficulty breathing or gasping for air after coughing, this is a sign of a severe lung or heart condition and requires emergency medical attention.

➯Other Symptoms

In addition to the above symptoms, other indications that your chihuahua’s cough might be severe include:

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing

If your chihuahua is displaying any of these other symptoms in addition to coughing. It can indicate a more serious underlying condition, and you should take them to the vet for further examination.

Mild to Severe Causes Of Coughing in Chihuahuas

Several different conditions can cause coughing in chihuahuas. Some of the most common include:

Mild Causes

▶Distemper

Distemper is a virus that affects the respiratory and nervous systems. It is most common in chihuahua puppies but can also affect adult chihuahuas. Symptoms include coughing, runny nose, fever, and diarrhea. Distemper’s treatment includes supportive care and antiviral medication.

▶Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a serious condition caused by parasites that live in the heart and lungs. It can spread through mosquito bites; symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, and weight loss. The treatment includes medication and, in some cases, surgery. It is a potentially fatal disease, so it is crucial to take your chihuahua to a heartworm test every year.

▶Canine influenza Virus

Canine influenza virus, or “dog flu,” is a respiratory virus infection. It can spread through contact with other infected dogs; symptoms include coughing, runny nose, and fever. Canine influenza virus treatment includes supportive care and antiviral medication.

▶Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a condition caused by inflammation of the bronchial tubes. It is most common in chihuahuas that live in urban areas with a lot of pollution. Symptoms include coughing and difficulty breathing. Chronic bronchitis treatment includes medication and, in some cases, surgery.

▶Sore Throat

A sore throat is another possible cause of coughing. A sore throat can be due to several things, including allergies, infection, and even cancer. Symptoms include coughing, difficulty swallowing, and pain in the throat. A sore throat treatments includes medication, rest, and avoidance of irritants.

▶Allergies

Just like humans, chihuahuas can also suffer from allergies. Allergies can be caused by anything from pollen to dust to certain foods. If your chihuahua is coughing and has watery eyes or a runny nose, it could be an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions treatment includes antihistamines and avoidance of the allergen.

▶Fungal Infections

Fungal infections, such as valley fever, can also cause coughing in chihuahuas. Valley fever is caused by a fungus found in the soil of certain areas of the country, including Arizona, California, and New Mexico. Symptoms include coughing, weight loss, and lethargy. Valley fever treatment is antifungal medication.

Severe Causes

▶Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system. It is spread through contact with other chihuahuas who are carrying the virus. Symptoms include a harsh, dry cough, sneezing, and runny nose. Kennel’s cough treatment includes antibiotics and rest. As long as your chihuahua is eating properly and acting normally, it should recover within a few weeks.

▶Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a serious lung infection by either bacteria, viruses can cause, or fungi symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and fever. Pneumonia is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention and treatment.

Chihuahua pneumonia (lung inflammation) is due to bacteria, a previous viral infection (distemper or canine influenza), regurgitation, certain metabolic abnormalities, or swallowing issues.

A chihuahua cough with pneumonia sounds soft and moist. Your chihuahua will most likely have low energy, a poor appetite, and a high fever if they have pneumonia. They will need rest, plenty of fluids, and vet care. They may even need to go to the clinic for hospitalization to heal completely.

▶Heart Disease

Heart disease is a common cause of coughing in older chihuahuas. Heart disease can be caused by several different conditions, including congenital heart defects, valve problems, or arrhythmias. Symptoms of heart disease include coughing (especially at night), difficulty breathing, and exercise intolerance. Heart disease is treated with medication and, in some cases, surgery.

▶Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse is a condition that affects the trachea or windpipe. The trachea comprises cartilage rings that keep it open, so air can pass through. In chihuahuas with tracheal collapse, these cartilage rings weaken and eventually collapse. It can cause coughing, difficulty breathing, and even choking. Tracheal collapse is treated with medication, weight management, and, in some cases, surgery.

▶Cancer

Cancer can also cause coughing in chihuahuas. Cancerous tumors can grow anywhere in the body, but they are most commonly found in the lungs or throat. Symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, and weight loss. Cancer is treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

▶Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is a condition that occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the body. It can cause fluid to build up in the lungs and other organs. Symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, and exercise intolerance. Congestive heart failure is treated with medication and, in some cases, surgery.

▶Lung Problems

There are a number of different lung problems that can cause coughing in chihuahuas. These include pneumonia, bronchitis, and lung cancer; symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, and weight loss. It is a serious condition that requires treatment from a veterinarian.

These are just some of the possible causes of coughing in chihuahuas. If your chihuahua is coughing, it is important to take him to the vet so he can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Diagnosing the Cause of a Chihuahua Cough

The treatment for coughing in chihuahuas will depend on the underlying cause. Many of the conditions that cause coughing can be treated with medication. However, your chihuahua might undergo some examinations and tests to rule out other possible causes. A vet will establish a diagnosis by considering a variety of factors.

∎Clinical Signs and Symptoms

The first step in diagnosing a cough is to take note of the clinical signs and symptoms. It will help the vet determine what might be causing the cough. The following are some of the things that the vet will look for:

  • Type of cough (dry or wet)
  • Frequency of coughing
  • Time of day when the coughing is worse
  • Triggers for the cough (exercise, excitement, etc.)
  • Any other symptoms that your chihuahua is experiencing

∎Medical History

The vet will also ask about your chihuahua’s medical history. It will help them rule out any conditions causing the cough. Be sure to tell the vet about any previous illnesses or injuries and any medications that your chihuahua is currently taking.

∎Physical Examination

The next step is a physical examination. The vet will check your chihuahua’s temperature, pulse, and respiration rate and listen to his heart and lungs with a stethoscope. It will help them rule out any heart or lung problems causing the cough.

∎Imaging Tests

If the vet suspects that your chihuahua has a lung problem, they might recommend some imaging tests. These tests can help to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions. The most common lung imaging tests are x-rays, and computed tomography (CT) scans.

∎Laboratory Tests

The vet might also recommend some laboratory tests. These tests can help rule out any infections or other conditions that might be causing the cough. The most common laboratory tests for cough are blood tests and urine tests.

These are just some things that the vet will do to diagnose a cough. Once the vet has ruled out any other possible causes, they will be able to give you a diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan.

However, to help the vet diagnose your chihuahua’s cough, it is important to give them as much information as possible. Also, be prepared to answer the following questions that the vet may ask you :

  • When did you first notice the cough?
  • Has the cough gotten worse or better over time?
  • What is the frequency of the cough?
  • Is the cough constant, or does it come and go?
  • Does anything make the cough better or worse?
  • Are there any other symptoms that your chihuahua is experiencing?

By providing the vet with as much information as possible, you can help them make a quick and accurate diagnosis.

Treating a Chihuahua Cough

The treatment for a cough will depend on the underlying cause. Many of the conditions that cause coughing can be treated with medication. However, your chihuahua might also need some lifestyle changes to help him recover.

▸Medications

Many different medications can be used to treat a cough. The type of medication that your chihuahua will need will depend on the underlying cause.

  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines 
  • Bronchodilators 
  • Cough suppressants

Your vet will be able to prescribe the appropriate medication for your chihuahua.

▸Lifestyle Changes

If your chihuahua has a lung condition, such as asthma, he might need some lifestyle changes. These changes can help to reduce the symptoms and improve his quality of life.

▸Avoiding triggers

if your chihuahua’s cough is triggered by exercise, excitement, or other things, try to avoid these triggers.

However, your chihuahua must get regular exercise despite avoiding triggers. It will help to keep his lungs healthy.

▸Proper nutrition

a healthy diet is essential for all chihuahuas, but it is especially important for chihuahuas with lung conditions. A proper diet can help to reduce the symptoms and improve your chihuahua’s quality of life.

Remedies You Can Try at Home

In addition to the treatments that your vet will recommend, there are also some home remedies that you can try. These home remedies can help soothe your chihuahua’s throat and reduce the severity of the cough.

▹Coconut Oil and Honey

Honey is the most popular natural remedy for chihuahua with canine tracheobronchitis or kennel cough. Raw honey is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help to boost your chihuahua’s immune system.

Coconut oil can also help soothe your chihuahua’s throat and reduce the severity of the cough. Coconut oil is full of healthy fats that can help to moisturize the skin and coat.

Honey and coconut oil are tasty natural supplements, so it’s not difficult to get your chihuahua to eat them. The sweet flavor of honey appeals to most chihuahuas, so apply it on a spoon, and your pet will happily eat it up.

▹Wild Cherry Bark Syrup

Wild cherry bark syrup is another popular natural remedy for chihuahuas with a cough. The syrup contains an extract from the wild cherry tree that has been used for centuries to treat coughs and colds.

The syrup is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help soothe your chihuahua’s throat and reduce the severity of the cough.

To give your chihuahua wild cherry bark syrup, mix 1 teaspoon of the syrup with 1 tablespoon of water. Give your chihuahua the mixture 3 times per day until the cough improves.

▹Tossa K

Tossa K contains pau d’arco, olive leaf, black seed, and mustard seed, all targeted against infection. When given four times a day in doses of half a teaspoon each, it may help with symptoms of upper respiratory infections. It claims to improve the immune system and fight infection.

How to Prevent Coughing in Your Chihuahua

The best way to prevent your chihuahua from coughing is to keep him healthy and avoid things that might trigger an attack. Also, you can do these several things:

✓Keep Up With Vaccinations

Make sure that your chihuahua is up to date on all of his vaccinations. This will help protect him from the viruses that can cause a cough.

✓Avoid Exposure to Sick Dogs

If you know that another dog is sick, try to avoid exposure to him. This will help to prevent your chihuahua from getting sick. Chihuahuas are especially susceptible to the viruses that cause a cough, so it is important to be careful.

✓Keep Your Chihuahua Healthy

A healthy chihuahua is less likely to get sick. Make sure that your chihuahua is getting proper nutrition and exercise. You can also give them some best vitamins for chihuahua that will help to boost his immune system and keep him healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is chihuahua coughing considered serious? 

When a chihuahua is coughing, it is essential to take notice of the other symptoms that are present. If your chihuahua is also having trouble breathing, has a blue tinge to its gums, or is wheezing, this coughing could be a sign of something serious, and you should bring them to the vet right away.

Otherwise, if a chihuahua is healthy and doesn’t have other symptoms accompanying their cough, it’s likely caused by an irritant such as dust or pollen and isn’t anything to worry about. However, if your chihuahua’s cough persists for more than a week or two, it’s always best to err on caution and take them in for a check-up.

Q: When should you visit the vet for your chihuahua cough?

You should visit the vet as soon as possible if your chihuahua has a cough. While most coughs are not serious, they can sometimes indicate a more serious health problem. Therefore, it is always best to err on caution and take your chihuahua to the vet for a check-up.

Q: Is my chihuahua allergic to his food? That’s why he’s coughing?

If your chihuahua is coughing, it could be due to an allergy to his food. Some chihuahuas are allergic to certain ingredients in their food, which can cause them to cough. If you’re not sure what’s causing your chihuahua’s cough, take him to the vet for an evaluation. The vet will be able to determine if an allergy is the cause and recommend the best course of treatment.

Q: How can you tell if your chihuahua has kennel cough?

If your chihuahua has kennel cough, you will likely notice that they are frequently coughing, sometimes bringing up a foamy mucous. The chihuahua may also have a fever and seem lethargic in some cases. If you suspect that your chihuahua has kennel cough, you must take them to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, kennel cough can lead to more severe health problems.

Q: What exactly does a chihuahua allergy cough sound like?

A chihuahua allergy cough sounds like a normal chihuahua cough, but it may be softer or harsher. It can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing. If your chihuahua has any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet for an evaluation.

Q: What can I do to keep my chihuahua from getting kennel cough?

There are a few things you can do to help keep your chihuahua from getting kennel cough:

  1. Make sure he’s up-to-date on his vaccinations.
  2. Keep him away from other dogs who may be sick.
  3. Keep him indoors as much as possible to avoid exposure to airborne viruses and bacteria.

If he does start coughing, take him to the vet right away. Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection and can be deadly in puppies and elderly chihuahuas.

Q: What does the sound of a collapsed chihuahua trachea like?

The sound of a collapsed chihuahua trachea is high-pitched and strident, similar to fingernails on a chalkboard. It’s an alarming noise that can be heard from quite a distance, and it often sends owners scurrying to their pet’s side in worry.

Fortunately, a collapsed chihuahua trachea is not usually life-threatening. It can be caused by anything from allergies to blunt force trauma, and it typically requires only conservative treatment such as antibiotics and steroids. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem, but most chihuahuas fully recover with minimal intervention.

Final Thoughts 

Chihuahuas are prone to a number of health problems, and one of the most common is coughing. While most coughs are nothing to worry about, it’s always best to take your chihuahua to the vet for an evaluation. That way, you can be sure that it’s nothing serious and get your furry friend back to good health quickly.

The above article is meant to provide general information only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. If you have any concerns about your chihuahua’s health, please consult with your veterinarian.