Ahem, There’s Something in My Throat!

When humans cough, it’s typically an act of clearing the throat because of a cold or simply to scratch an itching tickle.

When a dog is coughing the same reasons can apply and signal a number of different problems. It really depends on the type of dog coughing your pup is displaying. Let’s delve into a few types and what you should do as a result.

Kennel Cough

If you hear your dog coughing and it sounds deep, dry, and hacking, there’s a chance that your pup may have kennel cough. These types of coughs typically get worse with exertion. If your dog has been in a kennel or boarding location or been around a large number of dogs, he may have contracted kennel cough. This is a viral and highly contagious infection so contact our office right away for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Item Lodged or Sore Throat

If you hear your dog coughing and it sounds somewhat high-pitched and accompanied by gagging, that may be a sign that something is stuck in your pup’s throat. Other symptoms include your dog making swallowing motions and licking his lips. Conversely, this could also mean that your pup may have a sore throat. Pay close attention to your dog and if you notice prolonged coughing, you may want to contact our office for assistance.

Phlegm or Fluid

This may be the most obvious diagnosis because a wet cough sounds so much differently than a dry one. If you hear your dog sound as if he’s gargling, it may mean that fluid or phlegm has built up in his lungs. This is normally a result of pneumonia, which can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. The dogs who are at the most risk are very old, very young, or have weak immune systems. These are serious symptoms and we recommend that you schedule an appointment with our center right away.


At Sarasota Veterinary Center, we are here to help you and your furry loved one. No question is turned away, so contact us with your inquiries so that we can get your pup back to feeling like himself.