Addressing Cough in Pomeranians


by James Bennett


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Coughing in Pomeranians can be concerning for any pet owner. Given their small stature and unique health considerations, it’s important to understand the potential causes of coughing in this breed and how to effectively address it. As someone with extensive experience with Pomeranians, I aim to provide insights into why Pomeranians might cough and the steps you can take to ensure their health and comfort.

Common Causes of Cough in Pomeranians

1. Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse is a common condition in small breeds like Pomeranians. It occurs when the tracheal rings, which should hold the trachea open, weaken, leading to a narrowed airway. This can cause a distinctive honking cough, especially when the dog is excited or pulling against a collar.

2. Kennel Cough

Kennel cough, or infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory condition. It’s characterized by a harsh, dry cough and can be contracted from other dogs, especially in communal settings like dog parks or boarding facilities.

3. Heart Disease

Certain forms of heart disease can lead to coughing in Pomeranians, particularly in older dogs. As the heart’s ability to pump efficiently declines, fluid can build up in the lungs, leading to coughing, especially during the night or after lying down.

4. Allergies and Environmental Irritants

Allergies to pollen, dust, mold, or other environmental irritants can cause respiratory discomfort and coughing in Pomeranians. Similarly, exposure to smoke or strong fumes can irritate their airways.

5. Parasites

Lungworms, heartworms, and other parasites can lead to coughing as they affect the respiratory system. These parasites are typically contracted through the environment or from other infected animals.

6. Infectious Diseases

Viral or bacterial infections, apart from kennel cough, can also cause coughing. These infections may affect the respiratory system directly or lead to secondary conditions that induce coughing.

Diagnosing the Cause of Cough

Proper diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment. If your Pomeranian is coughing, a visit to the veterinarian is warranted. They may perform a variety of tests, including physical examinations, X-rays, blood tests, and possibly more specialized diagnostics like echocardiograms or tracheal endoscopy, depending on the suspected cause.

Treatment Options

Treatment for coughing in Pomeranians varies widely depending on the underlying cause:

  • Tracheal Collapse: Management may include weight control, cough suppressants, corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, and, in severe cases, surgery.
  • Kennel Cough: Mild cases may resolve on their own, while more severe cases might require antibiotics and cough suppressants.
  • Heart Disease: Treatment can involve a combination of medications to improve heart function and reduce fluid buildup in the lungs.
  • Allergies and Irritants: Avoiding the allergen or irritant is key, along with possible antihistamines or other medications to relieve symptoms.
  • Parasites: Specific antiparasitic treatments are required to address lungworms or heartworms.
  • Infectious Diseases: Antibiotics or antiviral medications may be necessary, along with supportive care.

Preventative Measures

Preventing cough-related conditions in Pomeranians involves several strategies:

  • Regular veterinary check-ups to catch and address any health issues early.
  • Keeping up with vaccinations and parasite prevention to protect against infectious diseases and parasites.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and providing a balanced diet to support overall health.
  • Using a harness instead of a collar to reduce pressure on the trachea.
  • Avoiding exposure to environmental irritants and allergens as much as possible.


Coughing in Pomeranians can stem from a variety of causes, ranging from relatively benign to more serious conditions. Early detection and diagnosis are key to effective treatment and ensuring your Pomeranian’s long-term health and comfort. By understanding the potential causes of coughing and taking proactive steps in care and prevention, Pomeranian owners can help their furry friends lead happy, healthy lives. Remember, any persistent cough warrants a visit to the vet to rule out underlying health issues and provide appropriate treatment.

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