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What are Laryngitis?

While often caused by a bacterial or viral infection, laryngitis can be a sign of another underlying issue, and can accompany such conditions as tracheobronchitis, distemper, heart disease, trauma, or an issue with the internal tissues, such as paralysis of the larynx or a trachea problem. The occasional to constant coughs can cause changes in vocalization, and the swelling from inflammation can lead to an obstructed airway. If the affected dog cannot cool itself down by panting, it may collapse. Many of the causes of laryngitis can be treated, and medical attention should be sought immediately for any breathing difficulties.

Laryngitis is the condition of an inflamed larynx, often caused by an infection. The larynx, or voice box, is the cartilage that prevents choking by closing off the trachea during swallowing. Laryngitis usually starts with a dry cough, but as the fluid builds up and the swelling of the larynx increases, it can affect the heart rate, breathing, and can lead to suffocation if not treated.

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Laryngitis Average Cost

From 457 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,200

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Laryngitis in Dogs

Symptoms of laryngitis can include:

  • Dry, short cough 
  • Soft, moist and painful cough
  • Gagging or retching
  • Swelled larynx
  • Vocal changes
  • Bad breath
  • Difficult and noisy breathing
  • Difficult and painful swallowing
  • Open mouth and lowered head stance
  • High pitched breathing
  • Slowed respiration
  • Bluish gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Excessive panting
  • Collapse
  • Suffocation
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Causes of Laryngitis in Dogs

Laryngitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection, but it can be caused by another underlying issue. Causes can include:

  • Upper respiratory infection that is bacterial, viral or parasitic
  • Inhalation of smoke, dust, allergens or gas
  • Insect bites
  • Trapped foreign objects
  • Excessive barking
  • Laryngeal trauma, such as a breathing tube placement or a bite wound
  • Tracheobronchitis
  • Tracheitis
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Distemper
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD, a digestive disorder
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Laryngeal abnormality, such as a granuloma or tumor
  • Cancer
  • Brachycephalic condition, or dogs with a flattened face, and a shorter larynx and nasal passages. Affected breeds are English Bulldogs, Pugs, and Pekinese.
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Diagnosis of Laryngitis in Dogs

Help your veterinarian correctly diagnose your dog by reporting any symptoms you’ve seen. Other information such as your dog’s breed, travel history, environment, medical history and medications taken, any incidences of trauma, vocal changes, and any contact with other animals can help your veterinarian come to a diagnosis of laryngitis. A definite diagnosis can be made based on these factors, a physical examination, an exam of the larynx with an endoscope, test results, and your dog’s response to any treatment. Your veterinarian will also observe your dog’s respiration.

Other tests may include a urinalysis, serum analysis, bronchoscopy, cytologic exam of bronchoalveolar fluids, gastroduodenoscopy, exam of biopsies, blood tests, chest X-rays, neurological exam, endocrine studies, EMGs, and culture samples. Identification of the underlying cause is attempted to be able to correctly treat the condition.

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Treatment of Laryngitis in Dogs

In the treatment of laryngitis, the first goal is to stabilize your dog. This can be done by relieving any airway obstruction, reducing inflammation, and getting oxygen into the lungs. Oxygen therapy, intubation, and ventilator support can be used, often with sedation if needed. If there is an obstruction in the larynx, a tracheotomy tube may be placed through an opening in the neck to allow the dog to breathe while the problem is fixed.

Any underlying cause needs to be treated, as well as concurrent conditions. Treatments can include corticosteroids to reduce the swelling, often along with nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs and systemic antibiotics. Diuretic drugs can be prescribed to eliminate fluid from the larynx and lungs. Cough suppressants and bronchodilators, which create bronchodilation and may reduce swelling, can be used. Antibiotics, antiparasitics, antimicrobials, and antacids are given as needed. Any heart or lung disease, abnormality, or cancer is treated appropriately.

Surgery may be needed for some conditions, such as to correct a laryngeal issue or to remove obstructions. Supplementary care may be prescribed to help recovery, such as humidified air, diet modification, external cooling, sedation, assisted breathing, and confinement in a clean, dust free environment.

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Recovery of Laryngitis in Dogs

The earlier treatment is given, the better the outcome is for your dog. Many causes of laryngitis can be treated with supportive care and medications. If the larynx or any surrounding cartilage areas in the airway incur chronic damage, the prognosis can be worse. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe medication to be administered at home, and a list of supplementary care to help your dog recover. Always notify your veterinarian if your dog has continuing breathing difficulties.

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Laryngitis Average Cost

From 457 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,200

Average Cost

$500

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Laryngitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Boxer

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing, Hoarse Bark, Swallowing Motions

Should I be concerned about these symptoms?

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If these are new behaviors that you are noticing, I would be a little concerned, yes. It would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine your pet and see what might be causing this, and let you know what treatment might help.

Oct. 11, 2020

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Golden Retriever

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Four Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing

My dog suddenly started coughing and one time she lost her voice and she also gags while coughing and she's hot.

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. She may be having a problem with kennel cough, as it is contagious and common in puppies if they are not vaccinated for it. If she is still having this problem, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them and see what might be going on, and get treatment if needed.

Oct. 12, 2020

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Pops

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Mixed African Breed

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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3 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Decreased Appetite
Laryngitis
Hoarse

I am currently serving as a Peace Corps voluteer in The Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland). I adopted a stray dog last year that I have raised as an American dog. The challenges are endless, but she has become my best friend and a great conversation starter. Based on her teeth, she is about 13 months old. Pops is a mixed breed. I left her at a kennel for a 2 weeks while I traveled over two months ago. When I came back to pick her up, she had no voice. She still has no voice. I’m afraid she was somehow injured at the kennel. She has no cough and does not seem to be in pain. I have no way of transporting her to a vet. Whatever the diagnosis, it is detrimental that I get home remedies for her condition. Please help!

July 24, 2018

Pops' Owner

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3 Recommendations

The problem here is that there are a few different causes for a loss of voice (I’m assuming that there is an attempt to bark with no noise produced) which may be caused by excessive barking (straining), respiratory tract infections, trauma to the throat, enlarged thyroid (pushing on the larynx) among other causes; as you can see there is no single cause I can say it is and when it comes to treatment, this would depend on the underlying cause (and even more limited for home treatments). It would be best to give Pops plenty of rest and ensure that he is hydrated and otherwise well, try to discourage any barking and see if there is any improvement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 25, 2018

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Fox

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Pomeranian

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11 Years

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Fair severity

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3 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Voice Loss, Snoring

For about four days my dogs voice has been weaker than normal, as if she lost her voice. It went from a strong loud bark to a raspy squeak. At night her snoring is louder too. Her behavior and eating habits are completely unchanged. She eats, plays, and uses the bathroom just as she always does. I’m not sure how to treat the voice and snoring change. Is it worth a trip to the emergency vet? I can’t get a regular vet appointment at any near by vet for days and didn’t want this to go untreated any long than it should. Another piece of information that may be relevant is that she had a tick on the side of her face that latched on pretty hard about two weeks ago. She wasn’t on tick and flea prevention, but after I removed the tick I put advantix II in her and gave her a bath two days later. Any ideas on if there is reason for concern would be helpful!

June 2, 2018

Fox's Owner

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3 Recommendations

Dogs may have a change in bark due to excessive barking, infections, foreign objects among other causes; if Fox is otherwise in good health and is still eating and behaving normally I would wait until Monday or Tuesday to visit your Veterinarian as it would be able to wait. However, if other symptoms present including vomiting, fever, breathing difficulties or anything else concerning you should visit an Emergency Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 3, 2018

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Baxter

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English bulldog hound mix

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2 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Horse Bark

My daughters male dog has been barking constantly and has now lost his bark, its a whine horseness bark now, we recently seperated him from her female dog thats in heat and thats when all the barking started nonestop. Would this be an emergency reason to get to the vet or is this something that will heal on its own? Hes very healthy otherwise but has started eating way less than normal.

March 15, 2018

Baxter's Owner


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1 Recommendations

It sounds like Baxter has strained his voice due to excessive barking, it would be best if he stopped barking but this cannot be explained to him; if Baxter isn’t showing any other symptoms just monitor him for now but if there is no improvement or you notice anything else visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 15, 2018

I have 2, two yr old male AMSTAFFS within the past week pollen has been in full effect. In addition to that we were having some REMODELING done in our home and the workers were sawing the wood out in our driveway about 20-30ft from our backyard. On the 2nd day of REMODELING and 3rd day of very high pollen I noticed one of my dogs (the one whom is a more active barker) his bark started to sound hoarse. I have him some water with ice in it and brought him inside. It's been 5 days and every morning when I let him out and he starts barking he sounds fine but as the day progresses he again starts sounding hoarse again. It is only his bark..he eats fine, drinks fine, behaves completely normal and has no other issues. His brother has no issues at all. I am confused.. I have had DOGS my whole life and dogs of the same BREED since 2000. Any suggestions?

April 8, 2018

Jacqueline D.

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Axel

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Pit bull

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1 Year

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Coughing
Laying Around
Some Vomitting

My baby has been coughing but can’t bark. He really hasn’t been eating like normal and he coughs/gags to where it makes him throw up. He normally starts coughing when he gets excited or starts playing. He’s been laying around a lot.

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Franky

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Unknown

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4 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Hoarse
Teary Eyes
Sniffles
No Barking
Soft Whisper Voice

I noticed today that my dog has not been barking and when trying to make him he has not been able to. Only a soft whisper like sound comes out :( I recall that for the past two days he has been barking excessively at the neighbors, but I am not sure if that is the reason to his sudden muteness. He has been feeling under the weather lately and I did notice he has a sound of hoarseness in his voice when he breathes. Other than that he has been eating well, is still playful and is peeing and pooping as usual. Should I be concerned and take him to the vet?

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Siri

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Philippine Dog

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7 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

My dog is a normal dog from Philippines and today, I found out when she barked that her voice does not produce the same amount of sound. Her voice when she barks is smaller than usual.I don’t know what had happened. This is so sudden. Tried massaging her throat a bit, pet her and let her drink water. She is the same. It’s only her voice that changed today. I hope my dog gets better tomorrow.

Laryngitis Average Cost

From 457 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,200

Average Cost

$500

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