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Why Does My Pomeranian Keep Coughing?


It can be disconcerting when our little Poms show any signs of distress and certainly when a Pomeranian is coughing and making hacking noises, we can become very worried for him or her.

This is never a good sign, so whether it is a small issue or a larger one, the one thing that is important is to find out what his causing the issue and take steps to resolve it.

While an acute noise may just be a matter of your dog clearing his or her throat, which is no reason for concern... This section will discuss the possible reasons for an ongoing, chronic cough that is loud enough or happens often enough to warrant looking into.

There are many health issues that can cause coughing in canines, so let’s look at the most common reasons.

The 8 Most Common Reasons for Coughing

There are 8 main reasons, and these are listed out in random order. 
Reason 1- A hairball - Just like cats, a Pomeranian can get a hairball. This is actually not that uncommon since it is caused by licking the coat. With the long, fluffy coat and thick fur that this breed has, a hairball can form and become trapped in the throat.

Not only can it cause coughing fits, it can also make a Pom vomit and/or dry heave. As you can imagine, it is extremely uncomfortable and quite possibly scary for a dog to experience this.

One method of treating this at home is to encourage your Pom to lick at some peanut butter (smooth, not chunky). Other options are a piece of high fiber bread or ½ cup of brown rice. The idea behind this is to have the food create a cushion around the hair. If this does not help, it is highly recommended to bring your Pomeranian to the closest animal hospital.

Reason 2 - Kennel Cough – Don’t let the name fool you. Your dog does not need to have come back from an actual kennel to catch this infection. It is extremely contagious, so a Pom can catch this from the dog park, doggie play dates, at the groomer’s or just about anywhere.

The symptoms are a very dry, hacking type cough, vomiting, and sometimes a nasal discharge. In very severe cases, a dog can also develop a fever and weakness. In rare cases, this is fatal. If you suspect Kennel Cough, please bring your Pom to the veterinarian where testing can be performed.

Testing will include a complete blood profile and testing of the urine.

With mild cases, often no medication is given and the infection runs its course in about 4 days. With moderate to severe cases, an anti-inflammatory medication may be given. With some dogs, a secondary infection sets in and if that happens, antibiotics may be given. For moderate to severe cases, it can take up to 4 weeks for a Pomeranian to stop coughing and feel better.

Be sure to use a harness with your Pom and not a collar (always recommended to prevent neck injury) to help your dog breathe easier.

Reason 3 - Other infection such as bronchitis – If your dog has a lung infection such as bronchitis, often a sign will be a wet cough, with mucus and sometimes accompanied with nasal discharge. He or she may also have a fever. If this is diagnosed, treatment may include corticosteroids and/or antibiotics.
Reason 4 - Collapsed Trachea – If you are a Member of this site or have the PetPom Pomeranian book, you’ll know that we talk about this a lot. While dogs can be predisposed to this condition, with toy breed dogs, it can be aggravated by using a collar and not a harness. As pressure is put on the neck, the trachea rings can actually collapse inward, causing breathing problems and associated coughing spells. It has been described as a sort of honking noise.

This is diagnosed with x-rays. Treatment can include bed rest, the use of the harness, cough suppressants, bronchodilators and/or anti-inflammatory medications. In severe cases surgery must be performed.

To prevent this, never allow anything to occur that would put undue pressure on your Pomeranian’s neck… And please remember that this breed is very fragile. 
Reason 5 - Worms – We know, we wish that we didn't even have to think about this either… However, coughing is a symptom of both heartworm and roundworm. If this is diagnosed, the treatment will be de-wormer medication often coupled with cough suppressant. And of course, a different choice in preventive treatments will be chosen.

Reason 6 - Allergies – A dog can have rashes and skin problems in response to allergies or a dog can have breathing problems including coughing. If this is the reason, the cough is a type of wheeze, similar to what one would think of in regard to an asthma attack. 

If this is seasonal allergies, mediation can be given to control symptoms. If it is in reaction to other elements (carpet cleaning solution, dust, etc.), other steps can be taken to remove the triggers that are causing the irritation.

Reason 7 -Elongated Palette – Not common with this breed, but not unheard of, an elongated palette can cause a sort of snorting noise that one may confuse with coughing. If this is determined to be the cause, surgery may be needed if it is interfering with normal breathing.

Reason 8 - Heart Conditions – This is rare, so an owner should never immediately assume that their Pomeranian has a heart problem if he or she is coughing…However, just as with any other issues, a veterinarian will rule this out as a possible cause.
Please Remember

If your Pomeranian is coughing up a storm, it is not normal and points to the fact that something is wrong. While it is not easy to always have the money to pay for the vet, it is vitally important to have your puppy or dog professionally treated. 

For many health issues only blood work and x-rays can diagnose the problem. For many cases, only prescribed mediation can remedy the situation. So, if you think that there is something wrong with your Pom, please do not hesitate to make that appointment.

While you are waiting to go to the vet, it is best to limit exercise and encourage your Pom to drink more water... This can be done by offering ice cubes, most find it fun to chase them around a slippery floor and crunch on the ice. 
You may also be interested in:

Why does my Pomeranian bark so much - While toy breeds often get the rap of being 'yappers', the Pomeranian is not necessarily an incessant barker. There are usually triggers that owners can train for.
What's the best food for a Pomeranian - A complete run-down of the best foods for this breed and feeding guidelines.
Helping a Pomeranian when home alone - Many Poms have trouble dealing with isolation when owners are away. How to help your Pom cope and feel more secure.
Best type of toys for Pomeranians- There are 5 main types of toys that you should have for your Pom puppy or dog. And having the right ones can make a world of difference. 
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