Is My Dog’s Coughing Boykin Spaniel Kennel Cough?

Is your Boykin Spaniel coughing a lot? Are you concerned that your dog may have Boykin Spaniel kennel cough? Maybe you’re concerned that an even more serious issue could be causing your Boykin’s coughing. 

There are several issues that could cause coughing in Boykin Spaniels. 

While it may be kennel cough, there are other illnesses that can also cause them to cough. Let’s first take a look at the symptoms of kennel cough and learn steps that could prevent it.

Kennel Cough in Boykins and Other Dogs

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis according to the American Kennel Club, is a respiratory disease that is very contagious among dogs. 

Your Boykin’s chances of catching kennel cough are fairly low if your pet stays at home and is rarely around other dogs.

If you take your pet to the dog park, leave them at a doggy daycare, boarding facilities, training sessions, or any other place where there are a lot of dogs gathered, then their chances of catching kennel cough go up. 

It is passed in airborne droplets through sharing of food and water bowls and direct contact.

For most dogs, kennel cough can be treated quite effectively. If your pet has an illness that leaves them immunocompromised, kennel cough could be serious. The same is true of small puppies.

Recognizing Kennel Cough in Dogs

The first sign that veterinarians advise you to look out for in order to recognize kennel cough in your Boykin is a deep, hacking cough. 

This cough will usually have a distinguishable “honking” sound. The dog can cough so hard that it gags or even vomits. Other symptoms to look out for include – 

  • Low-grade fever
  • Discharge from the nose
  • Sneezing or snorting
  • Exhaustion, lethargy
  • No appetite

Your dog will begin to show symptoms within 3 to 10 days of being exposed. In most cases, the sickness will last for as long as 3 weeks and can include any number of symptoms. 

It can become so bad that the dog cannot sleep because of coughing. If kennel cough is not treated, it can turn into pneumonia in some dogs.

Treating and Preventing Kennel Cough

Kennel cough does not have a specific, one-size-fits-all treatment protocol. For dogs that have bacterial infections associated with kennel cough, antibiotics are usually administered. 

Anti-inflammatory meds and cough-suppressing medications may also be given to the dog, depending on their symptoms. Your dog should be isolated from other dogs and made to rest. 

Collars and leashes should be avoided if possible, and their sleeping area should be well-ventilated.  

The good news is that in most cases, kennel cough is preventable with vaccinations, and a needle won’t even be required. 

There are oral solutions and nasal spray vaccines available at some veterinarians. Your dog should be vaccinated, at least, 1 to 3  weeks before being exposed to a lot of other dogs.

Genetic Heart Issue Causes Boykin Spaniel Coughing

There are, of course, other illnesses that can cause coughing in Boykins and other dogs. One that is specific to Boykins is a genetic heart condition known as pulmonic stenosis, which partially blocks the flow of blood between the lungs and heart.

This illness can cause your Boykin to struggle really hard during exercise because their heart is being overworked in an effort to get blood where it needs to go. The dog might pass out or just seem extremely tired from even small amounts of exercise.

A dog with this condition may struggle to breathe and have coughing issues. Their growth might also be stunted by the lack of blood flow. Routine testing for this disease is common for Boykins, and surgery can usually help in severe cases.

Additional Causes for Coughing in Boykins and Other Dogs

There are other causes for your dog to cough and different symptoms that can indicate each cause. For example, if your dog begins to cough in a high-pitched sound while gagging, it could have something stuck in its throat. 

This is probably the most vital cause of coughing in any dog, simply because it must be dealt with immediately, or the dog could die quickly. If the dog is breathing, get it to the vet as soon as possible. If it is not breathing, try to administer the Dog Heimlich Maneuver

Other causes for coughing in dogs include – 

  • Pneumonia – This cough will be wet and have phlegm. Your dog will have a hard time breathing even when they are not coughing and may have a fever.
  • Collapsed trachea – This is another issue that can make your dog have a cough with a honking sound. It is more common in small breeds such as the Pomeranian or Yorkshire Terrier.
  • Heartworms – Using heartworm preventative is a very important defense against this parasite which is spread by mosquito bites. A heartworm cough will start out mild but it will gradually worsen without expensive and lengthy treatment. 

Other issues which can cause coughing in dogs include heart disease, cancer, distemper, canine flu, and chronic bronchitis from allergies or other issues. 

If your dog has any type of cough that lasts more than a week or increases in intensity, make an appointment to see your veterinarian and learn which treatment will be the most effective.

Other Health Issues Common to Boykin Spaniels

There are several other health problems that are common to the Boykin Spaniel. Being aware of these conditions can help owners notice symptoms early and have a better chance of successful treatments. 

Here are some of those health issues.

  • Dental disease – Roughly 80 percent of all dogs will have issues with their teeth and gums by the time they reach the age of 2. Sadly, those numbers increase with Boykins. You can help prevent this by having your dog’s teeth cleaned regularly.
  • Obesity – This is another issue that is prevalent in Boykins when they are not exercised often or when they eat too many dog treats or too much human food. It is easily avoided by giving your dog hugs, back scratches, and attention as rewards instead of food and making sure they exercise 3 times a day, 15 minutes at a time.
  • Infections – All dogs can get infections such as distemper, rabies, or parvo. While Boykins are also susceptible to these infections, most of these illnesses can be prevented with vaccinations.


While kennel cough and several other illnesses can be dangerous for your Boykin, there are preventatives, vaccines, and treatments that can either ensure that your dog doesn’t catch them or help to alleviate the discomfort. 

Always check with your vet if your dog is coughing or showing any other sign of illness.

We hope that you have enjoyed this post about Boykin Spaniel kennel cough. Feel free to read over our site for more informative articles about your Boykin!

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