Food & HealthTips & Facts

Coughing Chihuahua: What To Do As A Pet Owner?

If your Chihuahua is coughing, you may be concerned about his or her health. Coughing in dogs can be a symptom of a variety of underlying diseases, ranging from minor issues such as allergies or infections to more serious ones such as heart disease or lung cancer. 

That’s why we’ll look at the major probable causes of coughing in chihuahuas, as well as how to treat and avoid it in this blog. We’ll also go over when you should take your coughing chihuahua to the vet and how to care for them at home. So, if your chihuahua is coughing continuously, keep reading for additional information and recommendations.

Understanding the Causes of Coughing in Chihuahuas

coughing chihuahua
Photo credits: Kevin Philips

Coughing in Chihuahuas can be triggered by a variety of things, such as respiratory infections, allergies, heart problems, and foreign objects in the airway. Here’s how it happens:

πŸŸͺ Respiratory infections

Coughing in chihuahuas is an indicator of respiratory illness. A multitude of factors contributes to it, including illness, congestion, and allergies. Coughing is the body’s ability to cleanse the respiratory system of irritants or mucus that may be triggering the sickness in the chihuahua.

Chihuahuas are more prone to respiratory illness due to their small height and short noses, which make it difficult for them to blow and clean their airways. If your chihuahua exhibits any signs of respiratory illness, such as coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, or breathing difficulties, you should take him to the veterinarian right immediately. The veterinarian will be able to diagnose the respiratory ailment and recommend the best course of therapy.

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πŸŸͺ Allergies

Chihuahua allergies can produce a variety of symptoms, including coughing. When a chihuahua inhales an irritant, the respiratory immune system responds, causing inflammation and discomfort. This can cause coughing and difficulty breathing by constricting the airways.

Pollens, mold, grit, and specific foods are just a few of the things that might cause allergies in chihuahuas. If your chihuahua is coughing because of allergies, you must identify the allergen and avoid exposing your dog to it. Your veterinarian may also recommend medications or other treatment options to help control and alleviate the symptoms of your dog’s allergies.

πŸŸͺ Heart disease

Coughing in chihuahuas can be caused by fluid buildup in the lungs caused by heart disease. When the heart does not operate properly, fluid accumulates in the lungs, causing difficulties breathing and coughing. This is common in dogs who have advanced cardiac illnesses, such as congestive heart failure.

Heart disease can affect chihuahuas in a variety of ways, including valve abnormalities, heart muscle diseases, and congenital heart anomalies. These disorders can induce fluid buildup in the lungs, resulting in coughing, shortness of breath, and other respiratory symptoms. Heart disease can also induce fatigue, loss of appetite, and difficulties exercising in severe situations.

πŸŸͺ Foreign objects

When a foreign object becomes trapped in a chihuahua’s airway, the dog’s body attempts to dislodge the obstruction by coughing. This can be a major issue because the object might obstruct the flow of air, making breathing difficult for the dog.

Foreign things can enter a chihuahua’s airway in a variety of ways. They may inhale the object while playing, consume it by accident, or get it lodged in their throat while grooming.

Treating Coughing In Chihuahuas

coughing chihuahua drinking

Before treating a cough in a Chihuahua, it is critical to determine the cause. Coughing can be caused by a number of conditions, such as respiratory infections, allergies, heart problems, and even foreign objects lodged in the airway.

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If your chihuahua is coughing, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. The veterinarian will be able to determine the reason for the cough and propose the best course of action.

In the meantime, you can try the following steps to help alleviate your chihuahua’s coughing:

πŸŸͺ Keep your chihuahua well-hydrated

Hydration can benefit a coughing chihuahua in a variety of ways. To begin, sufficient water intake is essential for sustaining overall respiratory health and function. Dehydration causes the mucous membranes that line the respiratory tract to become dry and irritated, resulting in coughing. Coughing can also induce dehydration because it causes fluid loss through the lips and nose. As a result, keeping your chihuahua hydrated can assist to maintain its respiratory system healthy and lessen the likelihood of coughing.

πŸŸͺ Keep the air in your home moist

It is generally advantageous to keep the air in your home humid, especially if you or your chihuahua have respiratory concerns. Dry air can aggravate the respiratory system and make coughing more recurrent and severe. Maintaining a higher degree of humidity in the air can assist to lubricate the mucous membranes of the respiratory system, which can help to minimize coughing.

There are various ways to enhance humidity in your home, including using a humidifier, putting bowls of water around the house, and having shorter, cooler showers. It is critical to keep an eye on the humidity level in your home and ensure that it remains within a healthy range, which is normally between 30-50%. If the air becomes too humid, it can create a breeding ground for mold and other allergens, which can have negative effects on respiratory health.

πŸŸͺ Avoid exposure to irritants

If your chihuahua’s coughing is caused by irritants such as cigarette smoke, pungent scents, or other contaminants in the air, avoiding irritants can help. When a chihuahua inhales irritants, the airways become irritated and inflamed, resulting in coughing and other respiratory issues. You may help lower the likelihood of your chihuahua getting coughing and other respiratory disorders by avoiding these irritants.

πŸŸͺ Use a leash when walking your Chihuahua

Leashes can help keep chihuahuas from consuming items that cause coughing, such as weeds or other plants that can create an allergic reaction. Leashes can also help keep a chihuahua safe from other threats, including busy highways or dangerous animals, which can cause stress and coughing. But this method, however, is not a solution for treating coughing. Other treatments, like proper diet and regular veterinarian visits, may be required to address the underlying cause of the coughing.

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πŸŸͺ Administer any prescribed medications as directed by your veterinarian

Depending on the underlying cause of the coughing, medication from the vet may be able to help alleviate the symptoms and address the underlying issue.

For example, if the coughing is caused by a respiratory infection, the vet may prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection. If the coughing is due to allergies, the vet may recommend antihistamines or other medications to help reduce allergy symptoms. In some cases, the vet may also prescribe medications to help relax the airway muscles and make it easier for the dog to breathe, or to help clear mucus from the airway.

It’s important to note that the specific treatment recommended by the vet will depend on the individual circumstances of the dog and the underlying cause of the coughing. It’s always a good idea to follow your vet’s recommendations for treatment and to follow up with the vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

Prevention Tips

There are several steps you can take to prevent coughing in your Chihuahua:

πŸŸͺ Keep your Chihuahua’s environment clean

A clean environment can help prevent a Chihuahua from coughing in a few ways. First, if the environment is free of dust, dirt, and other irritants, it can help reduce the chances that the Chihuahua will inhale these substances, which can irritate their respiratory system and cause coughing. Additionally, a clean environment can help prevent the transmission of infections and diseases, which can also cause coughing.

πŸŸͺ Keep your Chihuahua at a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight in chihuahuas can help prevent a variety of health issues, including coughing. Overweight chihuahuas can put extra strain on the respiratory system, causing coughing and other respiratory disorders. Furthermore, extra weight can put strain on the heart and other organs, leading to severe health issues. Maintaining a healthy weight, on the other hand, can help keep a chihuahua’s respiratory and cardiovascular systems running properly, which can help prevent coughing and other health issues.

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To keep your chihuahua from coughing, offer them a healthy, well-balanced diet and exercise them on a regular basis.

This will help them maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of coughing and other health problems. It’s also a good idea to take your chihuahua to the vet regularly for check-ups so that any potential health problems can be identified and treated early on.

πŸŸͺ Protect your Chihuahua from cold temperatures

Chihuahuas and other tiny breed dogs may develop respiratory difficulties when exposed to cold weather. This is due to the fact that cold air can irritate the respiratory system and make it more prone to inflammation, leading to coughing and other respiratory disorders. You may help prevent these types of respiratory difficulties by giving your chihuahua cold-weather protection, like as warm beds and blankets.

πŸŸͺ Keep your Chihuahua away from other dogs that are sick

It’s generally a good idea to keep your pet away from other animals that are sick, as this can help prevent the spread of illness. This is especially important if your pet is more vulnerable to infection due to its age, breed, or overall health.

If your chihuahua is around a sick pet and inhales respiratory secretions or comes into contact with contaminated surfaces, they may be at risk of contracting the same illness. Coughing is a common symptom of many types of respiratory infections, so by keeping your chihuahua away from sick pets, you may be able to reduce their risk of developing a cough.

πŸŸͺ Consider vaccination

Vaccines assist dogs, particularly chihuahuas, avoid some infectious diseases by boosting the immune system to create antibodies against specific disease-causing microorganisms (viruses or bacteria). When a healthy dog receives a vaccine, the immune system recognizes the virus as foreign and starts an attack. This reaction involves the development of antibodies, which aid in the dog’s protection against subsequent infection with the same virus.

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Coughing can be caused by a variety of factors, such as respiratory infections, allergies, and even heart problems. Some respiratory illnesses that cause coughing in dogs, such as parainfluenza and kennel cough, can be prevented using vaccines. Vaccines, however, do not protect against all respiratory illnesses or other causes of coughing in dogs. It’s important to talk to your veterinarian if your chihuahua is experiencing coughing or other respiratory symptoms, as they can help determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.

πŸŸͺ Keep an eye on your Chihuahua’s health

Regular visits to the veterinarian can help identify any potential health problems before they become serious. A veterinarian can also provide preventive care, such as vaccinations and parasite control, which can help keep your Chihuahua healthy and reduce the risk of coughing. 

Lastly, feeding your Chihuahua a nutritious diet can help support a healthy immune system, which can help prevent respiratory infections and other health problems.

When to Seek Veterinary Care for Your Chihuahua’s Coughing

If your Chihuahua is coughing and it is persistent or severe, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Coughing can be a sign of a number of underlying health issues, some of which can be serious or even life-threatening if left untreated.

Here are some other signs that your Chihuahua may need veterinary care for their coughing:

  • The coughing is accompanied by other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, lethargy, loss of appetite, or vomiting.
  • If it is accompanied by discharge from the nose or eyes.
  • There are changes in behavior or activity level.
  • The coughing is persistent and does not resolve within a few days.

If you are concerned about your Chihuahua’s coughing, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian. They can diagnose the cause of the coughing and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Managing Your Chihuahua’s Coughing at Home: Taking Medications

If your chihuahua is coughing, it’s important to have them checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the cause of the cough and provide appropriate treatment. In the meantime, here are a few tips for encouraging your chihuahua to take their medication or otherwise cooperate with their treatment:

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πŸŸͺ Make medication time a positive experience

Try offering your chihuahua a small treat or their favorite toy immediately before giving them their medication. This can help associate the medication with something enjoyable and help them look forward to taking it.

πŸŸͺ Use a pill pocket or other medication delivery tool

These products are designed to hold the medication and can make it easier to give your chihuahua their medication. They can also help mask the taste of the medication, which can make it more palatable for your chihuahua.

πŸŸͺ Try hiding the medication in food

If your chihuahua is resistant to taking medication directly, you can try hiding the medication in a small piece of cheese, a spoonful of peanut butter, or another favorite treat. Just be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions for administering the medication and avoid giving your chihuahua too many treats, as this can lead to weight gain.

πŸŸͺ Use positive reinforcement

Whenever your chihuahua cooperates with their treatment, be sure to praise them and offer a small treat as a reward. This can help reinforce good behavior and encourage your chihuahua to continue taking their medication.

Final Words

It’s never fun to see our furry friends feeling under the weather, and a coughing chihuahua can be especially concerning given their small size. While there are many potential causes of a cough in dogs, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the root cause and appropriate treatment plan. 

In the meantime, try to keep your chihuahua comfortable and consider any home remedies or over-the-counter cough suppressants as directed by your veterinarian. With proper care and attention, your chihuahua should be back to their energetic and playful self in no time. Remember, our pets rely on us to advocate for their health, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a vet for help.

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