Owners often ask why my Pomeranian keeps coughing or is your Pomeranian coughing at night? Do you have a dog who does the Pomeranian goose cough or is your Pomeranian wheezing, gagging? Pomeranian coughing is often a familiar sound in households with Poms.
In this blog post, our resident Veterinary Doctor, Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq and myself will explore the causes of why do Pomeranians cough so much? What you can do to help your dog if they are prone to coughing episodes.
What's going on in a dog's body when they cough? A cough could indicate underlying health issues such as heartworms, kennel cough, trachea issues, or even hairballs. A shorter duration of frequent coughing may be due to irritants such as pollen or mold spores.
So Why Do Pomeranians Cough So Much?
The main reason why a Pomeranian might cough repeatedly is that he is suffering a tracheal collapse. This occurs when there's damage or degradation to the cartilage that supports his windpipe. Other causes may include lung infections, allergies, and kennel cough.
No Pom parent should ever be forced to watch their Pomeranian cough relentlessly because it would feel like torture on the part of Pom and his owner.
Knowing what actions you can take when this common health issue occurs is vital when you own a Pomeranian, so it’s crucial that you have all the necessary information to handle the problem the minute it starts.
Be wary of times when you observe your Pom repeatedly coughing (particularly if he emits a loud honking sound), breathing heavy, or gagging after he has eaten or drunk, then the following list of medical issues may be the cause.
When I see one or more of my Pomeranians gagging or coughing, my thoughts start racing as I try to identify and solve the problem.
Pomeranian Collapsed Trachea
A collapsed trachea is an extremely common Pom problem. As with other small dog breeds, the cartilage that extends around the windpipe degrades over time, forcing the windpipe to collapse into itself. The good news is that it’s not painful, but it’s very uncomfortable.
A simple method for decreasing the degradation of the cartilage in your Pom’s windpipe is to stop using a collar when walking him and make use of a harness in its place.
It’s hard to reverse a collapsed trachea, so taking every possible step to prevent it from occurring at all is absolutely critical. If you truly care for your Pomeranian’s health, buy him a harness before you take him for another walk.
Do Dogs Feel Pain If They Have a Collapsed Trachea?
While your Pomeranian may not actually be in pain if he has a collapsed trachea, the level of discomfort he feels is usually extremely high. They can’t breathe air. The fact that he can’t breathe normally will lower his total energy.
If Dogs Experience Trachea Collapsing, Can This Prove Fatal?
Tracheal collapse is extremely dangerous and many Pomeranians have lost their lives as a result of this issue.
Pomeranian Heart Conditions
Coughing may be due to heart disease. The symptoms include depressed or rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, coughing, lower appetite, lower endurance, blue-tinged tongue, tiredness, and weakness.
If these symptoms are persistent, then consult with your nearest veterinarian for complete diagnosis and treatment.
Fortunately, these are not common, so you shouldn’t ever assume that your Pomeranian has trouble with his heart if he has a nagging cough. However, as with all health problems, it’s best to take your Pomeranian to the vet to assess whether he has heart problems or anything else, or if he’s a healthy animal.
Pomeranian Reverse Sneezing
Do you ever see your Pomeranian become excited and “welcome” a guest and, as a result, he has difficulty breathing? This is called reverse sneezing. This is an issue with the Pomeranian’s palate.
My pet name for this issue is the “Boofles.” My instant fix to stop Pomeranian Reverse Sneezing is to prevent the dog from moving while holding his nostrils to make him breathe through his mouth.
Is your Pomeranian wheezing, gagging? If your Pomeranian has a cough that seems like it goes on endlessly, it might be because he has contracted Kennel Cough, which is an extremely contagious, common respiratory disease.
Don’t be tricked by its name; Your dog can contract Kennel Cough but never visit a kennel. He can catch Kennel Cough any time if he’s at the groomers, the vet, at home, the park, or anywhere else that dogs may be.
Pomeranians often suffer from allergies and a regular cough is an indicator. If your Pom is making a wheezing sound in place of the standard cough, he has probably experienced an allergic reaction. There are a variety of different allergies including skin and food allergies, and both can make your Pomeranian start coughing.
Food allergies are common problems for Pomeranians to face so do the smart thing and carefully check all the different foods he eats and whether he has any negative reactions to them.
Airborne pollutants and irritants like cigarette smoke cause bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchus). It is a progressive disease that worsens over time. Its main symptom is a dry hacking cough which worsens during excitement and exercise.
Inflammation of the lining of airways produces mucous, decreasing air passage and resulting in dry cough. Treatment with bronchodilators(which will open /dilate the airways) and inhalant corticosteroids (fluticasone propionate) will reduce inflammation of the respiratory tract lining.
Try to keep your dog away from air pollutants and cigarette smoke.
It’s important to know what causes your Pomeranian’s allergies so you can care for him and help him lead a long, healthy life.
Pomeranian Hairball Issues Is a Common Cause of Coughing
Like cats, Pomeranians can ingest hair; especially at risk are puppies who are feeding on their Mothers. I know of breeders who have lost litters from this issue. I shave all my expectant mothers short prior to whelping to prevent this issue.
The difference is that heartworm is incredibly serious and is a potentially fatal disease affecting your Pomeranian’s heart and blood vessels surrounding it.
The roundworm is a very common parasitic worm that infects puppies. Roundworm can easily get treated with a variety of deworming products.
Is A Pomeranian’s Cough a Sign of a Serious Problem?
Unfortunately, the answer sometimes is YES. If your pet has a dry, hacking cough you should make an appointment with the veterinarian.
Stopping Pomeranian Coughing
If you can prevent your Pomeranian from endlessly coughing, he’ll likely feel more at ease, so it’s necessary to have that knowledge at hand.
After reading all this important information, it can seem overwhelming regarding where exactly where to start to diagnose your Pomeranian for his constant coughing. You’ll need to set an appointment with the vet when you realize your Pom’s cough isn’t going away.
There are numerous health issues where only blood work and x-rays can diagnose the problem. In many cases, only prescribed medication can remedy the situation.
Things you can do as a concerned Pomeranian parent while you’re waiting to go to the vet, including watching your Pomeranian’s weight, it is best to limit exercise and possibly cough medicines for dogs that may help the issue.
What Can I Give My Pomeranian to Ease Coughing Issues?
Until you can get to your vet, honey can be an excellent, temporary home remedy for kennel cough because it helps soothe your dog’s throat and minimizes coughing. You should give them one-half tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of honey mixed with warm water in a bowl, up to three times per day, depending on how often they cough.
Pomeranian coughing is a condition that often has no apparent underlying cause. It can be caused by many things. Owners should know the importance of taking their dog to see a veterinarian to have the issue thoroughly investigated.
Disclaimer: The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your dog. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on ANY website.
This article on Pomeranian coughing has been fact checked by Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq.
Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq
DVM, University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 2019
MSc. (Hons.) (Animal Breeding & Genetics), University of Agriculture Faisalabad, 2021
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References and Further Reading:
 Denise Leo “The Pomeranian Handbook”.