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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.

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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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

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Daschund

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Fifteen Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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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0 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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Koby

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havapoo

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4 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing
Tired
Hacking

My puppy is a little over 4 months old. He has a dry cough and makes a hacking noise. It sounds like he is trying to cough up something but he keeps his mouth closed so it never comes out he is on 2 antiblotcs but they dont seem to do anything. He has been on the antibotics for 1 week but i see no difference. He has just threw up and is lying on the cold floor and wont move.

July 20, 2018

Koby's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Without examining Coby it is difficult to say specifically what is going on, in some cases antibiotics are given in case of secondary infection but the underlying condition either needs to be determined or run its course. If there is no improvement after a week of treatment a further examination is needed and possibly an x-ray to look for anything in the lungs (inflammation etc…). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 20, 2018

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Joey

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Cocker Spaniel

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3 Years

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Gagging
Coughing

Please help! My dog is sick for 6 weeks with coughing. I took him to the Veterinarian at 1 st week of sickness and the veterinarian told me it’s look like Kennel Cough. Put him on antibiotics for 10 days Clavamox After 10 days of treatment it was not better and I brought the dog back for f/u .X-Ray was taken and steroids was proscribed, because X-ray showed that it’s Bronchitis .On day 4 I brought my dog for second opinion to different veterinarian.Another X-ray was made and confirmed that it’s Bronchitis. It was another antibiotics proscribed Azitromicyn and Robitussin DM. We finished the antibiotics but the dog still coughing after walks.What is my next step?I’m very concerned because it’s very long time now. Please help!!!

July 2, 2018

Joey's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

If Joey isn't improving on the medications, he may need stronger steroid doses, or different antibiotics, depending on the cause of the bronchitis. There may be more going on, and sometimes a follow up x-ray is helpful to see if there have been any changes. It would be best to follow up with your veterinarian and see what the next step might be for him.

July 2, 2018

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Toshi

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Cockapoo

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6 Months

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Itching
Sneezing

My dog has been itching and nibbling on his stomach and paws for the rest of his life. As soon as he turn 6 months, I took him down to Florida Keys where he had a few slight coughs at first before turning into reverse sneezes. It worsened when we got home and as the week pass, he also has developed coughing and retching. Something tells me it could be from allergies, but might also be bronchitis. I have been giving him benedryls, which sometimes work. The symptoms are the most active when he is sleeping and waking up (he usually sleeps on my bed).

May 15, 2018

Toshi's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Toshi may have signs of allergies, or bronchitis, or bacterial infection. Since I cannot examine him, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine him and determine what might be going on, and any appropriate therapy that he may need.

May 15, 2018

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dimpa

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Indian pariah

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Wheezing , Coughing, Terrible Noise

sir my dog is coughing,wheezing,sometimes vomit after a meal....he vomits white foam when he barks and coughs....rapid breathing sometimes it seems like his breath is catched and after 2-3 mins he breathes normal sir plz help me

Feb. 21, 2018

dimpa's Owner


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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

I doubt the antibiotics will do any good here as it sounds more of a digestive issue than a bacterial issue; it is possible that Dimpa is having some gastrointestinal upset if he is fed only once per day leaving acid accumulate in his stomach which can cause foamy vomit and may cause coughing as well. I would recommend feeding him small portions of food regularly to see if there is any improvement, boiled chicken and rice is good to start with and then wean across to regular food after a few days. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 21, 2018

Hello doctor Please give me your answer I read your article I have a Pomeranian dog A week later, water from the nose of my dog swells but it does not cough and sneeze, it is a little too cold and it's nose The doctor said, "Take a photo from the chest of a dog," my dog has bronchitis Antimicrobial, but it still has a nose and my dog is not good What should I do? I cry every day because of my dog's illness, since it only has 11 months😭

Aug. 11, 2018

Ella

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Toy

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Lhasa Apso

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8 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing
Wheezing
Bronchitis

My dog is on Flovent and hydrocodone she has chronic bronchitis we stopped smoking treat her as an asthmatic child. She coughs 10 times per hour she has bronchial wash, xrays, parasite medicine, antibiotics , cytology which came back as negative for infection, she us now on flovent inhaler with aerodawg mouthpiece and theophlynne and hydrocodone which helps on if 2 whole pills and only for 6 hour duration at best and than comes back strong with coughing. We spent over $1000 in treatment options and no cure, still extreme coughing and getting progressively worse. She eats human food but we also stopped and give her a better diet of purina simple one recommended by the vet as a more affordable option. Other than that Idon't know what else to do.

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Toy

dog-breed-icon

Lhasa Apso

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8 Years

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Serious severity

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2 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Shaking
Coughing
Hacking Cough
Dry Cough

Hello, My dog is about 8 or 9 years old she is 22 pound Lhasa Apso a little overweight for her bread but otherwise a normal happy crazy dog. We noticed that after running around the house barking and playing she would have a dry like cough as if she was going to cough up a hairball which would usually only occur during excessive running playing activity or so we though. My mom would say she's probably just choking on dust or something of this nature. About 6 months ago it got worse and today she is coughing about 5 to 10 times per hour if not more. The same dry cough as if she is coughing up a hair ball. And yes it looks painful and her thought is always swelled up and when we give her massages on her throat she lets us, and closes her eyes. Over the past 3 months we have taken her to 3 different vets she was diagnosed with bronchitis I believe chronic as its over 2 months she is suffering with it. We did the bronchial wash and cytology which came back with no infection. We put her on a cocktail mix of antibiotics anti inflamitory steroids and a powdered anti parisitc medication for 10 day trial and it did not work. Also we took xrays before the wash which the vet said it appears she has bronchitis based on the slides. The steroids made it worse, so far hydrocodone for dogs (different than for humans) it is a cough suppressant for dogs not a pain killer like the one for humans which is toxic for dogs. The hydrocodone helped but not cured, and at this current time we have been giving her theophlynne and hydrocodone and started an inhaler with the aerodog mouth peice so she can use it the inhaler is flovent basically a human medicine for asthma. And the vet told us basically to treat her as an asthmatic child. We do smoke cigarettes but have stopped smoking in doors and we light incense outdoors now as well for a few months now. However with all these medications unless we give her like 2 whole pills of hydrocodone she does not stop the coughing and the hydrocodone wears off after about 6 hours on her. She does eat human food often and has good appetite and drinks milk which we stopped because the vet said that milk can cause mucus to build up in the lungs. I'm not sure what else to do for her we have spent over $1000 in treatments for her and nothing seems to be working well. I feel very bad for her as I love her immensely :( I have quit smoking myself for her. But I don't know what else to do the antibiotics wont help because its not an infection the vet said. After the trial period of anti parisitic medicine past we put her on a full dose of liquid parasite medicine for an additional 10 days and no results. She coughs and shakes and it looks painful almost as if she wants to cough something up. After the bronchial wash she threw up,some kind of mucus discharge but that was 1 time over a 6 month period. The newest vet said they do a more detailed bronchial scope type of procedure where they sedate her. Its not about the 3 thousand dollars they want to do it its just the first time they did the bronchial wash they kept her in a cage for 4 hours and didnt do the prcdure until the end of the day I dropped her off at 9 am and they werent finished with her until 4 P.m. she has severe attachment anxiety and barks uncontrollably when we leave her for any amount of time as she was abused and is a rescue dog. Since she has not been mentally well and the new vet said the results of this special bronchial wash will not really show different results its basically just an option if you wanted to cover all the bases so to speak. So we decided not to put her through that type of trauma again. I was reading reviews for Throat Gold on chewy maybe this will help natural remedies? Like I said this is my story but also any advice would help. Because she is not better and running out of options. Hopefully this inhaler will work but as it has alresdy been almost 1 month of use its not helping greatly.

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Berky

dog-breed-icon

Cocker Spaniel

dog-age-icon

15 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing

My 15 yr cocker has been diagnosed with chronic bronchitas, now for almost 1 year. He eats and drinks well. He relieves himself well. But he also retches 5-8 times a day. We treat him at night with Hydrocodone for the cough. My question is he in pain from the cough and retching. Naturally he sleeps a lot, but I don't want him suffering from the cough. What's your opinion. Thank you.

Bronchitis Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$600