Laryngitis in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Navigating Canine Laryngitis

Laryngitis in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Dog laryngitis is a frequent condition that can affect any breed or age group, and it can be brought on by a number of things, such as bacterial or viral infections, environmental irritants, or even excessive barking. We break down how to treat and prevent this condition in this article.

Dogs are known for their unique and expressive voices, from playful barks to low growls. However, just like humans, dogs can experience changes in their vocal cords, leading to a condition called laryngitis. Dog laryngitis is a common ailment that can affect any breed or age, and it can be caused by a range of factors, including viral or bacterial infections, environmental irritants, or even excessive barking.

In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for laryngitis in dogs, as well as preventative strategies that can help keep your furry friend healthy and happy.


Dog laryngitis can result from a variety of conditions, including bacterial or viral infections, irritants in the environment, and physical or mechanical harm to the larynx. This condition has a variety of causes, some of which are common:

  • Infections: Laryngitis in dogs may be brought on by bacterial or viral diseases, which spread when a dog comes into touch with an infected dog or contaminated materials.

  • Irritants: Laryngitis in dogs can also be brought on by exposure to environmental irritants, including cigarette smoke, dust, and pollution.

  • Trauma: Physical or mechanical damage to the larynx, such as from excessive barking, can also cause laryngitis in dogs.

  • Allergies: Allergic reactions to certain foods, medications, or environmental factors can also cause inflammation of the dog’s larynx and lead to this condition.

  • Underlying medical conditions: A dog's likelihood of developing laryngitis might also be affected by some underlying medical problems, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing's disease

Signs and Symptoms

Dog laryngitis can cause a wide range of symptoms, from minor to serious. The following are some of the most typical signs of canine laryngitis:

  • Dog lost voice or changes in voice: One of the most noticeable symptoms of laryngitis in dogs is hoarseness or changes in the dog's bark or vocalizations.

  • Coughing: Laryngitis can cause a dry, hacking cough that may be persistent and worsen at night.

  • Breathing problems: Laryngitis in dogs can, in extreme cases, make breathing difficult. Wheezing or panting may also be present.

  • Inability to eat or drink: Due to the discomfort and anguish in their throats, dogs with laryngitis may find it difficult to eat or drink.

  • Reduced Energy: Dogs with laryngitis may exhibit increased lethargy, decreased energy, and a decreased appetite.

  • Fever: In some cases, dog laryngitis may be accompanied by a fever, which is a sign of an underlying infection.

However, the severity of the symptoms may vary depending on the underlying cause and the individual dog's health status.

How to Treat a Dog With a Hoarse Bark

The treatment for laryngitis in dogs will depend on the underlying cause and gravity of the symptoms. Most of the time, the goal of therapy is to minimize inflammation, relieve pain and suffering, and take care of any underlying illnesses or infections that could be causing the problem. Here’s how to treat dog laryngitis at home:

  • Rest and reduced activity: This is an important home remedy for dog laryngitis.  Provide adequate rest and reduce the dog's activity level, which can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

  • Medications: Your veterinarian may recommend medications such as antibiotics. You might also be prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs like CARPROFEN or MELOXICAM and cough suppressants to address underlying infections or reduce inflammation and pain.

  • Humidification: Increasing ambient humidity can aid in lowering throat discomfort and inflammation in dogs. Use a humidifier or put a dish of water close to the dog's bed to do this.

  • Dietary changes: A soft or liquid feed may be beneficial for certain dogs with laryngitis to lessen the necessary chewing and swallowing, which can be uncomfortable and challenging.

  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to address underlying structural abnormalities or damage to the larynx.

How to Prevent Laryngitis In Dogs

While it's not always possible to prevent laryngitis in dogs, there are some steps you can take to help reduce your dog's risk of developing the condition. Some tips for preventing laryngitis in dogs include:

  • Avoid exposure to irritants: Try to minimize your dog's exposure to environmental irritants such as smoke, dust, and pollution, which can irritate the larynx and increase the risk of inflammation.

  • Manage your dog's barking: Excessive barking can cause damage to the larynx and boost the risk of laryngitis. Training and management techniques such as positive reinforcement and distraction can help minimize your dog's barking behavior.

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups, can help keep your dog's immune system strong and reduce the risk of underlying medical conditions that can contribute to laryngitis.

  • Manage underlying medical disorders properly: If your dog has a medical condition that has to be managed, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing's disease, doing so can help lower the chance of laryngitis.

  • Seek Vet Care: Consult a veterinarian immediately if your dog exhibits symptoms of respiratory distress, such as prolonged coughing or hoarseness, to avoid complications and guarantee timely treatment.

We advise that you follow these steps because they can lower your dog's risk of laryngitis while also enhancing their general health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is laryngitis treated in dogs?

Laryngitis in dogs, or inflammation of the voice box, can be caused by various factors, including viral or bacterial infection, kennel cough, canine influenza, and other underlying health problems. The treatment plan for dogs with laryngitis depends on the underlying cause. A visit to the veterinarian is essential for an accurate diagnosis. The vet will thoroughly examine your dog's throat and may conduct tests to determine the cause of the laryngitis.

If inflammation is a significant factor, the vet may recommend anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce swelling in the voice box. In cases where a bacterial infection is present, antibiotics may be prescribed. To alleviate persistent coughing, the vet may provide cough suppressants. Surgical intervention might be necessary if there is any obstruction in the airway, such as from foreign objects or tumors. In severe cases where the dog has difficulty breathing, a temporary breathing tube may be placed to ensure proper respiration.

What should I do if my dog lost his voice?

If your dog has lost his voice, it could be a sign of laryngitis or another underlying health problem. First, observe your dog for other symptoms such as coughing, raspy sounds, bad breath, or difficulty breathing. This information can help your veterinarian make an accurate diagnosis.

Seek veterinary care promptly to determine the cause of the voice loss. If an infection is present, the vet may prescribe medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics. Ensuring your dog stays hydrated and rests is also important for recovery. Avoid exposing your dog to irritants like smoke or strong chemicals that could worsen the condition.

How to treat a dog's laryngitis at home naturally?

Treating a dog's laryngitis at home naturally can be done with care and consideration, but it is essential to note that this advice provided does not constitute medical advice and should be used in conjunction with professional veterinary guidance. Ensure your dog has plenty of rest and a calm environment to avoid further irritation to the throat. Provide clean, humidified air to soothe the dog's throat and nasal passages, which can help reduce coughing and inflammation.

Honey can be given in small amounts to help coat the throat and alleviate coughing. Ensure your dog remains hydrated by providing fresh water at all times. Additionally, a balanced diet with good nutrition supports overall health and aids in recovery. However, always consult with your veterinarian before starting any natural remedies to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your pet's condition.

How do you know if your dog has laryngeal disease?

Laryngeal disease in dogs can present with several common symptoms. You might notice your dog coughing frequently, making a raspy sound when breathing, or having difficulty breathing. Other symptoms can include bad breath, noisy respiration, and a change in the dog's voice. In severe cases, there might be signs of airway obstruction.

If you observe these symptoms, seeking veterinary care for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan is crucial. The vet may use a combination of physical examination, imaging, and a laryngoscope to look at the dog's throat directly. Identifying underlying causes such as viral or bacterial infections, heart disease, or other upper respiratory infections is key to managing the condition effectively.

How long does laryngitis last?

The duration of laryngitis in dogs can vary depending on the underlying causes and the effectiveness of the treatment provided. Typically, if the laryngitis is caused by a mild viral or bacterial infection and the dog receives prompt and appropriate treatment, symptoms can improve within a few days to a week. However, if the condition is related to more serious underlying health problems such as heart disease or chronic upper respiratory infections, recovery may take longer, and ongoing management may be necessary.

Was this article helpful?