Coughing and Sneezing in Pets

Just like humans, the upper respiratory tract of an animal can be affected by many different kinds of microorganisms and viruses. In dogs and cats, cold-like illnesses can start in the upper respiratory tract, causing symptoms such as coughing and sneezing. If your pets are in need of a veterinarian because of a respiratory ailment, come to New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham for treatment.

Coughing and Sneezing in Pets

When the Cold or Flu is Causing Your Pets to Sneeze or Cough

When your pets have an upper respiratory infection, it can resemble the human cold in many ways. In addition to coughing and sneezing, you may also notice your companion animals have a runny nose or eyes, or inflammation of the mouth. 

Dogs and cats are also capable of catching the flu, and because most have not been exposed to the virus, their immune systems are not able to fully fight it. Dog flu is often spread through respiratory secretions or contaminated objects while cats can catch the flu due to direct contact with an infected cat or viral particles.

Vaccinating your pets against the flu will not only maintain their health, it can help to prevent illness.

When It Is Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is highly contagious, and it occurs when the upper airways is affected by viruses or bacteria. This condition typically pops up in boarding kennels, shelters, grooming businesses, and at areas where there is a large crowd. Symptoms typically appear about 8 to 10 days after exposure when your pets begin to have a dry, hacking cough. You may also notice eye discharge, a loss of appetite, and a sore throat.

When Health Conditions are Triggering the Symptoms

Many health conditions can make your beloved animals cough or sneeze constantly. These problems include heart disease, lung problems, distemper, chronic bronchitis, and cancer.

Given the time of year, it's imperative that pet owners take steps to provide their companion animals with preventatives to stop these parasites from causing serious health risks and complications.

Treating Your Pets for Coughing and Sneezing

Coughing and sneezing in pets are usually very treatable. Before we can treat the symptoms, our veterinary staff needs to diagnose the underlying cause. Depending how severe the condition is, your veterinarian may suggest giving your animals antibiotics, antivirals, or antihistamines to reduce the discomfort.

If your beloved pets are experiencing constant coughing or sneezing, call New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham today at 919-490-2000 to make an appointment with our veterinarians. Finding the cause of your pets’ symptoms and treating them is important to us.

Hospital Hours


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am- Noon



Our Location

Visit us today

Featured Articles

  • Fish

    If you’re thinking of getting a pet fish, you should know that your veterinarian has a lot of good advice about pet ownership. Fish can be very rewarding as pets, and you just may be surprised about how much fish actually interact with their owners. Here’s more valuable information about choosing ...

    Read More
  • Caring for Senior Cats

    Thanks to advancements in veterinary care, today’s cats can live well into their teen years. It is not uncommon for cats to live to be 18 or even older. However, in order for cats to live a long full life, they need proactive veterinary care to stay healthy. As cats age, they are at greater risk for ...

    Read More
  • Feline Stomatitis: Treatments

    Cats rarely display their pain, but cats with feline stomatitis are often the exception. If your cat appears to have mouth pain, is reluctant to eat, doesn't want to groom, is drooling, and doesn't want you to open its mouth, it may be suffering from this debilitating, degenerative oral condition, and ...

    Read More
  • Feline Leukemia Virus: What You Need to Know

    Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a virus that weakens your cat's immune system. Unfortunately, when the immune system does not function properly, your cat may be more likely to develop other diseases, such as cancer and blood disorders. How Cats Contract Feline Leukemia Cats get feline leukemia from other cats. ...

    Read More
  • Family Cats and Pregnant Women: Take Measures to Prevent Toxoplasmosis Infection

    Nothing must spoil the joys of becoming a new parent. Not even your pets. But family cats with normal, every day habits can pose a risk to expectant women. Women's immune systems can be disturbed by a parasite carried in fecal matter. If you're the primary caretaker of your family's feline friend it ...

    Read More
  • Create an Environment Your Cat Will Love

    The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery confirms that feline emotional wellbeing, behavior and physical health are a result of how comfortable they are in their environment. Understanding how our cats interact with their environment can help us create a space for owners and cats to mutually thrive ...

    Read More
  • Catnip: Why Cats Love It

    Few things stimulate a cat's pleasure faster than catnip. Exposure to this simple herb can reveal a new side to their feline personality. Many cats will go crazy at the smell of this plant. Catnip has a reputation of being a feline drug and many cat owners wonder if it is safe to give it to their pet. ...

    Read More
  • Zoonosis

    Zoonosis refers to diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals. In particular, they occur when an infected animal passes on bacteria, parasites, fungi or viruses to humans through scratches, saliva, feces and urine. Vectors (e.g., organisms like fleas and ticks) can also carry zoonotic diseases ...

    Read More
  • Sugar Gliders

    Thinking of getting a sugar glider? These tiny marsupials are energetic and friendly, making them popular choices as pets. Though they weigh less than a half-pound, they're more closely related to kangaroos than they are flying squirrels. If you think a sugar glider would make an ideal pet for your family, ...

    Read More
  • Epilepsy

    Epilepsy (often referred to as a seizure disorder) is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. It is commonly controlled with medication, although surgical methods are used as well. Epileptic seizures are classified both by their patterns of activity in the brain ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup