Pet Coughing & Sneezing

What to Know About Pet Coughing & Sneezing

If your dog or cat is coughing and sneezing, you may be a bit concerned, especially if it's out of the ordinary. If your pet is coughing or sneezing, you may wonder what you can do to help. Fortunately, at Valley Veterinary Hospital of Helena, we often see this in pets and are here to help if your pet is suffering.   


Pet Allergies

Just like in people, pets can get allergies, too. Your pet could have inhaled dust, pollen, or mold and is experiencing a reaction. When your pet coughs or sneeze, this is his or her natural reaction to get rid of the allergen and combat the irritation. 

Anatomic Problems

Certain breeds of cats and dogs are known for having anatomic differences that affect their airways. For instance, shih tzus, bulldogs, pugs, and certain other breeds are known for having elongated soft palates, which can cause them to cough. Flat-faced cats like Persians may also cough more than other breeds. 

Upper Respiratory Infection

If your pet just started coughing or sneezing, he or she may have an upper respiratory infection. Although your pet can't catch a cold or flu from you, they can catch an infection that's specific to their species. For instance, dogs can catch canine influenza. 

Your pet may contract an infection from an infected pet. You could also spread the microbes of an infection if you've been in contact with an infected pet of the same species. The microbes could be on your hands or clothing.  

Heart Disease

In the early stages of heart disease, your pet may exhibit respiratory symptoms. Your pet may also become tired more easily than before. Specifically, your pet may become tired after moderate exercise. 


You might notice that your pet wheezes and sneezes. This may be a sign that your pet has asthma. The sneezing aspect tends to come from allergen or pollutants in the air. 


Distemper is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract as well as the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. Your pet may initially sneeze and cough when he or she has it. However, as it worsens, it can affect your dog's ability to walk. Eventually, it may cause your pet to experience seizures and can even lead to death. Some pets are fortunate enough not to have symptoms but can still shed the virus to other pets. 

Contact Our Animal Hospital for Pet Care from Our Helena Veterinarians

Certain reasons for coughing and sneezing are preventable by a vaccine. Additionally, our vets can determine the cause and recommend an allergy medication to prevent or stop the symptoms. Our veterinarians can also provide emergency vet care if your pet's symptoms are serious.  Book an appointment with Valley Veterinary Hospital of Helena if your pet is coughing or sneezing. Contact us today at (406) 442-0188 to learn more about how we can help you and your animal.