Bronchitis in Dogs

Bronchitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Bronchitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What are Bronchitis?

Although often viral bronchitis will resolve following supportive care, in some cases it may lead to conditions such as pneumonia. For chronic bronchitis on-going treatment and management are often required. In order to provide your pet with the best care it is important you contact a veterinarian if you suspect they may be suffering from this condition.

Bronchitis in dogs, the inflammation of the bronchial airways, can be acute or chronic in nature. Chronic bronchitis commonly affects middle-aged dogs who present with persistent coughing, lasting over two months. Acute bronchitis is a common disease that affects dogs of all ages, is caused by multiple infectious agents, and is characterized by a harsh cough.

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Bronchitis Average Cost

From 446 quotes ranging from $300 - $1,500

Average Cost

$600

Symptoms of Bronchitis in Dogs

The most common sign of bronchitis in dogs is a persistent cough. Other symptoms may include:

  • Increased breathing rate 
  • Fever
  • Wheezing while breathing
  • Excessive mucous production or frothy saliva following coughing/retching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sneezing and nasal discharge
  • In chronic bronchitis, syncopal episodes (the rapid loss of consciousness due to temporary deficiency of oxygen to the brain) following coughing may be seen 
  • In cases of viral bronchitis, a harsh, dry cough with sudden onset may be seen along with retching and gagging
  • Anorexia and lethargy
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Causes of Bronchitis in Dogs

Acute infectious bronchitis 

Acute cases of bronchitis are often caused by viruses, following contact with an infected pet. The most common viral causes are kennel cough, parainfluenza, and distemper. Environmental factors such as stress, temperature extremes, and ventilation appear to increase the risk of contracting these viruses. Unlike chronic bronchitis there appears to be no age bias, although young and geriatric dogs often suffer from more severe symptoms.

Pets who have contact with areas with a number of other dogs, such as in dog parks, boarding kennels, and dog shelters, have higher incidence of contracting the disease. Known causes of acute bronchitis in dogs are: 

  • Canine adenovirus
  • Canine distemper virus
  • Canine herpes virus
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Streptococcus zooepidemicus

Chronic bronchitis 

Cases are considered chronic when the pet has suffered from coughing for over 2 consecutive months. Often the cause of chronic bronchitis is unknown, though the following may be predisposing factors: 

  • Previous respiratory tract damage, trauma or infection
  • Prolonged exposure to inhaled irritants such as cigarette smoke
  • Age 
  • Cardiovascular disease
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Diagnosis of Bronchitis in Dogs

Your veterinarian will perform a full clinical examination of your pet and discuss his diet and history with you. Your veterinarian will auscultate the lungs and heart of your pet to determine his lung and cardiovascular health. The lung noises during respiration will assist your veterinarian in diagnosing the illness. 

If your companion has a harsh cough and history of contact with other infected dogs, or environmental stress, it may indicate viral bronchitis. Your veterinarian may need to take radiographs of your pet’s thorax under sedation, this may show bronchial wall thickening that can indicate bronchitis. Other diagnostic tools that may be used are:

  • Bronchoscopy to visualise the bronchial tubes
  • Cytology and microbiology investigations may also be performed using a bronchial wash which may indicate the cause of the condition
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Treatment of Bronchitis in Dogs

Supportive Care

For some animals, supportive care may be all that is required. To give your pet the best possible chance of improvement:

  • Ensure his environment is free of irritants such as cigarette smoke 
  • In some cases, the use of nebulization may be beneficial for steam therapy to help loosen secretions
  • Allow your pet to rest and limit exercise
  • Provide excellent nutrition to support his recovery
  • Provide a clean, warm and sanitary environment 
  • If your pet is obese, weight reduction can greatly improve the condition and quality of life for your pet; your veterinarian can discuss an on-going diet plan 

Medication

In cases of bacterial infection, the result of a swab sample will allow your veterinarian to choose the most effective antibiotic therapy for your dog. He may require antibiotic treatment for 3-4 weeks. Glucocorticoids such as prednisolone can be used to reduce inflammation, however, this may have side effects such as increased appetite. It is vital that this medication is tapered, rather than stopped suddenly. Bronchodilators such as theophylline may also be beneficial for your pet, these may be given for a 2-week trial period and ceased if no improvement is seen.

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Worried about the cost of Bronchitis treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Bronchitis in Dogs

The prognosis for your dog will depend on the underlying cause of the bronchitis and his initial response to treatment. Your pet will need careful veterinary monitoring and regular revisits, if symptoms worsen it is essential your canine companion be seen by a veterinarian promptly. As infectious bronchitis is highly contagious it is important that your pet is kept away from other animals for the duration of the illness.

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Bronchitis Average Cost

From 446 quotes ranging from $300 - $1,500

Average Cost

$600

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Bronchitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Goldendoodle

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Ten Weeks

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2 found helpful

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2 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Bronchitis

Last week we adopted a 10 week old golden doodle and my parents adopted a 9 week old Aussie doodle. They’ve both had their first round of shots and have not been exposed (since we’ve had them) to other dogs. Are we able to have them play together? Also, my puppy has bronchitis. Is there a risk of passing it on to my parents puppy?

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It would be best to wait about 2 weeks before having them play together, to make sure that they don't develop any signs of illness. Your pups bronchitis and whether your parents dog can be around him depends on the cause of the bronchitis, and if it is infectious. It would be best to ask your veterinarian, as they know the reasons behind treatment, and I do not. .

Oct. 11, 2020

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Daschund

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Fifteen Years

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1 found helpful

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1 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Sleepiness

i took him to the vet for a physical and vaccine today. The vet said that had a mild bronchitis so he gave him theophylline 75 mg and Temarill-P #5. He can't sleep and he doesn't stop crying because he wants to keep eating. I gave him the medication at 4:30 pm and he fall asleep then by 10 he can't sleep. He just keeps crying

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Ellen M. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Hello and thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear that your dog isn't feeling well. Without examining your dog, it's very hard for me to know what's going on. What you're describing could be a side effect of the steroid in the Temaril-P, but it's a very low dose of steroid, so I would not expect to see that reaction. Excessive crying can indicate pain as well. I recommend that you call your veterinarian first thing in the morning to discuss possible medication side effects with them. However, if your dog seems painful over night, is having trouble with his back legs or having any trouble breathing, please seek emergency veterinary care immediately. I hope that your dog starts feeling better soon!

Aug. 4, 2020

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Bronchitis Average Cost

From 446 quotes ranging from $300 - $1,500

Average Cost

$600

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