Dog Coughing Mucus

While some dogs tend to cough a fair amount and for reasons that are not relative to their overall health, others will have more specific problems that you should pay attention to, like coughing mucus. Conditions like kennel cough and other non-threatening issues can result in a light, general cough or even a moderate hack, but if your pet coughs up any fluid at all it's a sign that there may be a more serious problem. Mucus especially is a dangerous warning; if you notice your pet coughing up mucus, look for any other symptoms and then take your pet to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment as soon as you can.

Potential Reasons for Dog Coughing Mucus

Dogs develop colds and sinus problems in the same way that humans do. It's not unusual for your pet to begin to cough when he is sick with a minor infection or virus. In some of these cases, he may even cough up mucus. However, there are other more serious reasons why a dog may be coughing up mucus. In the case of younger dogs, this is often due to distemper. For older dogs, bacterial pneumonia is more often the culprit, although distemper can strike as well if your pet isn't immunized against it.


Distemper is a dangerous disease that is responsible for killing a huge number of dogs that contract it. It is highly communicable and can easily spread from an infected dog to any dog around him, even through brief physical contact. Distemper is characterized by several other symptoms in addition to coughing mucus, so if your pet has been coughing up mucus, it's a good idea to look for the following potential warning signs:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Changes in behavior
  • Seizures
  • Comatose state

Distemper cannot be treated, but the symptoms of the disease can be somewhat eased and you and your vet can help to keep the dog healthy while the virus passes its course. Therefore, early recognition of the disease is crucial to the long term health of your dog.

Bacterial Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a very serious respiratory condition for dogs. This condition is characterized by an infection of the lungs and breathing passages. It can result in difficult, labored breathing, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, shortness of breath and much more. Left untreated, the infection can spread or overwhelm a dog, particularly a dog that is younger or weaker. Pneumonia can be caused by either a virus or a bacteria. Coughing up mucus is more often associated with the type of pneumonia that develops as a result of bacterial infections. In the case of this type of pneumonia, you'll usually be able to deal with your pet's health problem by giving him an antibiotic drug that is prescribed by your vet.

For more information about potential causes of mucus in the cough and how to treat this condition, speak with your vet.