kennel cough in chihuahuas: prevention, signs, symptoms and treatment

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua health concerns 12 Comments

what does kennel cough in a chihuahua sound and look like?  this 15 year old chihuahua has kennel cough.  it should clear itself within 14 days as long as he is kept quiet and rests.

this chihuahua also has kennel cough. how do you know if your chihuahua has kennel cough?  what are the signs of sick chihuahua with kennel cough and what can you do to treat and prevent it?  here’s what you need to know about kennel cough in chihuahuas.

enjoying adventurous trips to the dog park with our chihuahuas can be fun, but it’s also a time to be extra cautious as it is where dogs contract kennel cough most often.  trachea respiratory problems in chihuahuas is common, so it’s especially important to know how to prevent, identify, and treat kennel cough.

although kennel cough is generally not a serious respiratory condition and usually goes away after a few weeks, it is often the case that the cough masks a more serious issue like pneumonia, thus, it’s important to properly care for your chihuahua to avoid more serious problems from developing.  the key is to carefully monitor your chihuahua for symptoms so that you can get them checked out as soon as possible.

there is no cure for kennel cough, so prevention is key.  if you plan to board your chihuahua while you travel, enter them into a dog show, or enroll them into a dog obedience school where there will be a lot of dogs around, it’s a good idea to vaccinate your chihuahua against kennel cough.

kennel cough is highly contagious and is thought to be caused by bacteria called bordatella.  generally, kennel cough vaccines are not necessary for chihuahuas that stay indoors, so there is greater risk if your chihuahua is highly socialized with other dogs.

there are two kinds of kennel cough vaccines you can get to treat and prevent your chihuahua.  if you require instant prevention, ask your vet about the intranasal vaccine. it is inhaled through the nose and is best for immediate dog contact situations. t he injectable vaccine is the other kind of kennel cough vaccines and can be given to your chihuahua as early as 4 weeks of age.

what are the signs and symptoms of kennel cough?

look for episodes of high pitched, “honk-like” coughing that lasts for at least 2 weeks, some chihuahuas may also vomit up large amounts of phlegm.  in order to rid their system of the disease, your chihuahua needs to cough up phlegm, so don’t give your chihuahua any cough suppressants.

other than coughing, your little chihuahua will usually not behave sick when it has kennel cough, so limit its activity to avoid triggering intense coughing episodes.  if you have other dogs in the house, it is likely they will get kennel cough too.

try and avoid this by washing your hands after contact with each dog and keeping them separate from each other.  most important, keep your chihuahua home through the duration of their illness and be sure to give them your loving so they know they are going to be okay.

for more information on kennel cough, visit

educate yourself on chihuahua health problems …if you have concerns about your chihuahua, post them to the famous chihuahua facebook community where chihuahua owners from around the world can help you with their friendly advice!

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Comments 12

  1. Linda

    My 11 year old 4lb. Chi has kennel cough diagnosed by a Vet. They gave her immune support herbs for dogs it came from It really didn’t change anything with the kennel cough, but I am trusting it will help her increase her immune system. What I did find helped soothed her throat was 20 Factor Manuka honey. It’s expensive, about 75.00 for a small bottle, but this is cheap compared to a visit to the vet. I bought it off Amazon it’s called All Blacks UMF20 Manuka. Also I put Eucalyptus essential oil in an vaporizer and that seemed to really help her. I put it about 2 ft from her bed and had it going all day while she slept. I noticed a significant decrease in her coughing attacks using this. Due to being in Canada I am able to give her a couple of drops of medical grade CBD oil for over all health benefits. I hope some of these suggestions help your Chi.

  2. Linda Orsini

    My 12 yr old Chihuahua started with a nasty hacking cough 1 1/2 wks ago. In the past 2 days she has stopped eating. Last night I was able to get her to eat some cooked steak I broke up for her to eat. She has no teeth. She has been to the Vet 3 times. On the first visit they gave her hydrocodone and put her on an antibiotic. Her xray did not show anything abnormal.

  3. Caramello

    My chi is 4yrs old and has this kennel cough and i’ve already taken her to the vet and he gave her some an antibiotic and it didn’t clear it. I don’t have
    $200.00 to take her all the time. What can i give her?

  4. Mingo

    My little Rusty has kennel cough and he struggles to breathe he’s on Temaril P every 12 hours one in the AM full tablet per vet and hydrocodone bitartrate cough suppressant. He coughs to much Dr took X-ray and found no abnormalities but she said that his lungs look like they are busy.
    I’m giving him his medicine like I’m supposed to how long before I see results. Watching him go through this is killing me it just hurts to see my little furry friend suffer. I massage his lungs softly and he enjoys it also massage his chest and it sounds like a chest cold. Any advice on what else I can do to ease his suffering.

  5. Donna Craft

    I have a 1 year old female chihuaha she stays in the house because she is so little. She weighs almost 3 pds. She just started to make coughing sounds and sneezing what’s causes this

  6. Misty Benfield

    my chiuaua is about 10 years old now, she has recently started to “cough” just like a human, she gags too. ive read and watched videos to try to identify the kind of “cough” it is but nothing seems to match it, what should i do for her???

  7. Isabel Audagnotti

    My chihauhau, is at the end of her “on heat” cycle. Today her stomach starting working normal, by this evening its watery blood. I do not live close to vets. Please advise what the problem could be

  8. Erin

    What is the differences in kennel cough, reverse sneeze, and trachea collapse? They all sound like my 7 month old chihuahua. he hasnt had it forever and im not sure which one it is because they all sound like what he has. usually when he does this he ends up throwing up phlegm or dog food to. kinda worried but the vet says dont worry…but i know its gotta be more then a reverse sneeze.

  9. Kellie

    This article helped me out out a lot, but should i take her to the vet if it last more than 2 weeks? The thing is she also hasnt been around any other dogs, or even outside unless to potty. could she have gotten it from just being outside?

  10. mayra

    my chihuahua is almos 5 yrs old, i thought it was some kind of asthma she had but it sounds kind of like the Kennel cough, she has had this since I got her back from a friend, back when she was 2yrs old..what can I do to help her? it sounds like if she cant breath

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