Similar to humans, dogs can suffer from laryngitis, a common respiratory condition that affects the vocal cords and causes hoarseness or a raspy voice. In this post, you'll learn more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and recovery of laryngitis in dogs.  

A Dog's Larynx

A dog's larynx is a series of separate cartilage plates in the throat (voicebox) that help your pooch breathe and bark normally. These plates block off the lungs while your pup eats or drinks and open the windpipe wider when they need to take a deep breath.

Laryngitis in Dogs?

Infections or other medical conditions can cause laryngitis in dogs. This respiratory condition can come on instantly or gradually. It causes the larynx to swell, making it difficult to bark and breathe properly. 

Symptoms of Laryngitis in Dogs 

Symptoms of laryngitis in dogs may vary depending on how severe the inflammation is. Common signs include:

  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness or loss of voice 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bad breath 
  • Harsh or raspy sound when breathing 
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite 

Causes of Laryngitis in Dogs 

A variety of conditions, including allergies, infections, and other medical issues may be to blame for your dog's laryngitis. Pneumonia, kennel cough, and canine influenza are a few examples of common bacterial or viral infections that can cause this respiratory condition. 

Underlying medical conditions like hypothyroidism, heart disease or cancer can cause this condition. Additionally, throat trauma or irritation due to dust or smoke can cause laryngitis.

How to Treat a Dog with Laryngitis 

So, how is laryngitis treated in dogs? When a dog gets laryngitis, treatment will depend on the underlying cause, which should be diagnosed by your vet, and the severity of the condition. If the damage is minor, your dog can recover with rest and plenty of water.

If the problem is more serious, the vet may need to administer medication or admit your dog to the hospital. Antibiotics can help if bacteria are the culprit, and anti-inflammatory drugs can be used if there is pain and swelling. If something is obstructing or inflaming your dog's throat, surgery may be required.

Helping Your Dog Recover From Laryngitis 

The length of time it takes for our canine friends to recover from laryngitis is determined by the severity of the condition and the cause. If it's not too severe, a few days of rest and treatment may be all they need to get back to their wagging-tailed selves.

If the case is more difficult, successful treatment could take several weeks or even months. While your dog is recovering, make sure to follow your vet's advice and keep a close eye on them. Most dogs with laryngitis can make a full recovery and return to their playful, happy-go-lucky selves with plenty of tender, loving care and the right treatment.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you suspect your dog has laryngitis? Contact our vets in Vancouver to schedule an exam. Our team is able to diagnose and treat health conditions in dogs.