German Shorthaired Pointers can get kennel cough or other respiratory infections that can cause coughing.
Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease and can affect healthy dogs without health problems exposed to the viruses and bacteria that cause it, regardless of breed.
You can prevent it and other respiratory infections by keeping your GSP’s living environment clean and limiting exposure to other dogs that may be infected.
Vaccinations can also help protect against some of its most common causes. Below, we will discuss kennel cough in German Shorthaired Pointers, so let’s jump right in.
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is a common, highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs caused by a combination of bacterial and viral agents.
Common symptoms include a persistent cough, gagging, and sneezing. The symptoms usually resolve on their own within a few weeks. However, in some cases, antibiotics may be necessary to treat the underlying bacterial infection.
Let’s learn more about its symptoms in detail.
The symptoms of kennel cough can vary from mild to severe but typically include the following:
The most common and distinctive symptom of kennel cough is a persistent, harsh, and hacking cough that may sound like the dog is choking or gagging.
Your German Shorthaired Pointer may experience frequent sneezing.
Some dogs may develop a runny nose.
Loss of Appetite
German Shorthaired Pointers with kennel cough may lose their appetite and show a decreased interest in food and water.
In some cases, dogs with kennel cough may develop a low-grade fever.
Your dog may seem more tired than usual and have decreased energy levels.
Some dogs may develop eye discharge as a result of kennel cough.
The symptoms of kennel cough can last for several weeks and often disappear without treatment. However, in some cases, vets provide antibiotics for the underlying bacterial infection.
If you suspect your German Shorthaired Pointer has kennel cough, contact your vet for a check-up and treatment.
Treatment for kennel cough in dogs will depend on the severity of the symptoms and the infection’s underlying cause.
Here’s a list of common treatments for it:
Rest, increased fluid intake, and a nutritious diet may help the dog recover from a mild cough or less severe cases of kennel cough.
If a bacterial infection is present, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the underlying cause of the kennel cough.
In some cases, cough suppressants may be prescribed to help relieve coughing and allow the dog to rest and recover more comfortably.
Corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract and alleviate symptoms.
In severe cases of kennel cough, bronchodilators may help open the airways and improve breathing.
In severe cases of kennel cough, oxygen therapy may be necessary to provide extra oxygen to the lungs and help the dog recover.
Prevention methods for kennel cough include reducing the risk of exposure to the viruses and bacteria that cause the infection and taking the following steps to boost your canine’s overall health and immune system:
You can effectively prevent kennel cough by having your dog vaccinated against the most common infection causes; this can help reduce the risk of exposure and minimize the severity of symptoms if the dog gets infected.
Keeping the dog’s living environment clean and free of contaminated items can help reduce the risk of exposure to kennel cough. This includes regular cleaning and disinfecting its bedding, toys, and food and water dishes.
Limiting their exposure to other dogs that may be infected with kennel cough can help reduce the risk of contracting the infection. This may include avoiding dog parks, boarding facilities, and other places where large dogs gather.
Boosting Your Dog’s Immune System
Feeding a nutritious diet and regular exercise can help boost the dog’s overall health and immune system, making it less likely to get sick from kennel cough or other respiratory infections.
Providing good ventilation in the dog’s living environment can help reduce the risk of exposure to airborne viruses and bacteria that cause kennel cough.
Other Causes of Dog Cough
Other common causes of your GSP’s cough include:
Chronic heart disease can cause your German Shorthaired Pointer to cough, especially when lying down or exercising.
GSPs can get respiratory infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, which result in coughing.
Allergic reactions to dust, mold, or pollen can cause cough in your German Shorthaired Pointer
A foreign object, such as a stick or grass seed lodged in a dog’s throat, can cause coughing in GSPs and other breeds.
Certain parasites, such as lungworms, can cause coughing in dogs, including German Shorthaired Pointers.
Cancers of the respiratory tract can cause coughing in dogs.
Tracheal collapse is a common condition in small breed dogs that causes coughing due to the collapse of the trachea.
However, German Shorthaired Pointers aren’t small, so it’s unlikely that your canine has this problem.
Why Is My German Shorthaired Pointer Sneezing?
German Shorthaired Pointers can sneeze for various reasons, such as the following:
Sneezing can signify allergies to environmental allergens such as dust, mold, or pollen.
Sneezing can also be a symptom of an upper respiratory infection caused by bacteria or a virus.
It may also be caused by a foreign object, such as grass seed or other debris lodged in the dog’s nasal passages.
Inflammation of the sinuses can also cause sneezing in dogs. If it is accompanied by other symptoms such as nasal discharge, coughing, or reduced appetite, consult a vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
When Should I Call My Vet About My Dog’s Cough?
Call your vet if your GSP has any of the following symptoms along with coughing:
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid breathing or panting
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Blue or pale gums
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Coughing up blood
- Wheezing or crackling sounds when breathing
- Coughing that persists for more than a week or worsens
- Any changes in behavior or activity levels
These symptoms can indicate a serious underlying condition, so prompt veterinary care is necessary to ensure the best outcome for your dog.
Also, if your dog is coughing and hasn’t been vaccinated against kennel cough, call your vet to determine if vaccination is necessary.
Kennel cough in German Shorthaired Pointers and other canines is a respiratory infection caused by a mix of viral and bacterial agents. This disease spreads through the air or by direct contact with contaminated objects.
Common symptoms include coughing, gagging, and nasal discharge, while treatments may involve antibiotics and suppressants. Lastly, vaccination can help prevent the spread of the disease.
If your German Shorthaired Pointer is coughing, visit a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.