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Canine bronchitis will cause dogs to cough and hack, sometimes uncontrollably. Bronchitis develops when the bronchial tubes become swollen due to infection.

Any cough lasting two months or more is considered chronic bronchitis, which if left untreated can damage the airways and lead to mucus build up in the bronchi.

Here are a few factors that may contribute to chronic bronchitis in dogs:

  • Respiratory infection or damage
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Age (middle-aged dogs are more at risk)
  • Airborne irritants such as dust, smoke, or chemicals


Glucocorticoids have been used to treat humans with bronchial disease for over 50 years. They are clearly the most effective treatment for this disorder, although potentially debilitating side effects limit their use in this clinical setting. Even though steroids are not primary antitussives, by decreasing inflammation they may decrease stimulation of airway sensory nerves that are responsible for initiating cough in canine CB.


As bacteria are rarely the cause of chronic bronchitis, antibiotics are not a mainstay of therapy. That said, they are often used in patients with a recent onset of coughing to treat for possible (primary or secondary) bacterial bronchitis.

When prescribed, doxycycline is commonly chosen as it also has anti-inflammatory effects in the airways.

Cough Suppressants

Cough suppressants can reduce coughing and make the dog more comfortable. Because the coughing itself can increase airway inflammation, a reduction in coughing can help a dog recover from bronchitis. On the other hand, too much suppression of coughing may make it difficult for the dog to expel mucus from the airway. Vets often prescribe cough suppressants such as hydrocodone and butorphanol.


Bronchodilators expand airways where smooth muscles have become constricted. While these medications may be used in emergency situations, they do not address the underlying airway inflammation. Bronchodilators may be used to help provide temporary relief during a sudden coughing attack caused by an airway stimulant. It should be noted there is limited evidence for the use of bronchodilators in dogs.


Dandelions are extremely rich in vitamins and antioxidants. In addition to being a wonderful source of nutrients for your dog, this weed helps keep a healthy heart, potentially protecting against heart disease. One teaspoon of dried dandelion leaves or essence of dandelion root per twenty pounds of dog is the recommended dosage.

Enviromental irritants

One of the main treatments is to remove any irritants from an affected dog’s environment, including smoke, chemicals, perfumes, allergens, or other inhalants that can contribute to the condition.


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