Bronchitis In Dogs

What is Bronchitis?

Although Viral Bronchitis is very common and gets resolved by medications, it can also shape into severe Pneumonia. For chronic bronchitis, proper management is needed. To keep future consequences at the bay, the owner must immediately consult a vet if he senses its symptoms.

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial airways and can be acute as well as chronic in nature. Chronic bronchitis often affects the middle-aged dogs with symptoms like persistent coughs for more than two months. Acute bronchitis happens as a result of an interaction due to harmful infectious agents in the bronchial airways.

Most Common Symptoms

The most common sign of bronchitis in dogs are persistent coughs. Other symptoms are:

  1. Increase in breathing rate with fever
  2. Gasping while sleeping
  3. Excessive mucous or froth production
  4. Frequent sneezing and nasal discharge
  5. Syncopal episodes after an extreme cough
  6. A rough cough with retching and gagging

Causes of Bronchitis in Dogs

Acute bronchitis

In most cases, it is caused by viruses. Usual reasons are parainfluenza, kennel cough, and distemper. Factors in the environment, such as extreme temperatures, stress, and ventilation can increase the risk of the pet getting in contact with the causes. As in the case of chronic bronchitis, there is no age bias in Acute bronchitis. However, younger ones and the geriatric versions suffer from serious symptoms. Dogs who are often communicating with other canines, be it at the dog park, or in the boarding kennels are more prone to develop this condition. General causes of Acute bronchitis are:

  • Adenovirus-specific to canines
  • Distemper virus specific to canines
  • Herpes virus specific to canines
  • Bordetella Bronciseptica
  • Streptococcus Zooepidimocas

Chronic bronchitis

Vet consider it to be chronic when the dog suffers from a cough beyond two weeks. In most cases, the dominating reasons are unknown, but there are several factors responsible for this:

  1. Respiratory damage in the past with trauma or infections
  2. An extreme period of exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke
  3. Aging
  4. Cardiovascular diseases

Diagnosis & Tests 

The vet will perform a full clinical examination of the dog. The owner will have to present all the necessary health certificates of the dog. The vet will also auscultate the heart and lungs of the dog to understand its cardiovascular and lung health.

If the animal ever came in contact with an infected dog, the chances are that the dog may be suffering from viral bronchitis. The vet may also sedate the dog and conduct a radiograph test of the thorax. These beforementioned tests will reveal the probability of thickening of the bronchial walls. Some other tools are:

  1. Bronchoscopy
  2. Cytology
  3. Microbiology investigations


Some animals may only need supportive care. Besides continuing with the medications, the owner will have to make sure that the dog does not get in contact with harmful irritants such as cigarette smoke.

  • The owner can also try the option of nebulization which may be beneficial for steam therapy and can help to loosen up the secretions.
  • Limitation of exercise is needed during this period. Ample amount of rest will accelerate and favor the effectiveness of medications.
  • Excellent nutrition along with warm and sanitary environment will boost up the immune system of the animal to fight the infection.
  • If the dog is obese, reducing the weight along while continuing the treatment can drastically improve the condition.
  • In the case of bacterial infections, the vet will decide on the medication after he sees the Swap sample. The vet will accordingly choose an antibiotic therapy for the affected dog. The pet may have to continue with the antibiotic therapy for about three to four weeks.


The recovery will depend on the underlying factors for bronchitis and the introductory response to the treatment. The pet may also need a regular visit to the vet where the dog will receive monitoring of the situation. If the condition worsens, the pet may also require an immediate visit to the vet. The owner has to remember that infectious bronchitis is hugely contagious so the dog should be kept as a solitary animal for few weeks.

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