Bronchitis in Poodles

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Most people hear the word bronchitis and think that it relates solely to humans. However, Poodles can also become sick with bronchitis. Canine bronchitis in Poodles is often an illness that isn’t diagnosed until all other illnesses have been ruled out. That is why it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of both acute and chronic bronchitis in your Poodle so that you can seek the correct treatment right away.

Common Signs

Whether your Poodle has chronic or acute bronchitis, they will most likely exhibit a cough that won’t let up. If you notice your Poodle with a persistent cough for at least 2 months without much else to accompany it (such as mucus, phlegm, etc…), your pup may suffer from canine chronic bronchitis.

You may notice your Poodle wheezing, having difficulty breathing, vomiting, gagging, or even losing consciousness. These are all signs of canine bronchitis that should alert to make a veterinarian appointment ASAP.

These signs may not mean bronchitis, but they are indicative of a lung infection that should be treated.

Chronic or Acute Bronchitis?

There are differences and similarities between chronic and acute bronchitis. Poodles with acute bronchitis will most likely exhibit the same symptoms as mentioned above but for a much shorter duration.

The cause for acute canine bronchitis may be:

  • Allergies due to weather changes
  • Bacterial infections
  • Asthma
  • Irritants such as smoke, dust, air fresheners, etc…
  • Genetics

Acute bronchitis in your Poodle may only occur once a year, but that still requires medical attention from your dog’s veterinarian.

Chronic canine bronchitis is characterized as an on-going and persistent cough that lasts for longer than 2 months. It might be hard to find the cause for chronic bronchitis, but it may be largely due to genetics. Poodles who suffer from chronic canine bronchitis will most likely have developed it due to genetics and will require treatment on an on-going basis.

Fluffball from the pic above before treatment by Ms. Jayeon Kim from @sarang.groomer_jayeon

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis affects your Poodle’s airways. While it is not a curable lung infection a majority of the time, it is possible to treat it with medications and breathing therapy. You can limit your Poodle’s symptoms and make their life more comfortable as they navigate through life with chronic bronchitis.

When any dog (or human for that matter) becomes infected with bronchitis, their airways become inflamed. This inflammation can increase the production of nasty mucus production that can coat the lungs. Inflammation in the airways and lungs causes coughing and may lead to a decline in lung function over time. One of the scariest things that can occur to any canine who suffers from chronic bronchitis is the possibility of airway collapse. That is why it is crucial to get your Poodle the medical treatment it needs to treat the infection sooner rather than later.

How is bronchitis diagnosed in Poodles?

Oftentimes, bronchitis is diagnosed as a result of the exclusion of other infections or diseases. However, veterinarians will examine your Poodle for the following to determine a prognosis:

  • Voice changes (does their bark sound differently)
  • Loss of appetite over time
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Weakened cardiopulmonary function

Your vet will also take a close look at the cough itself your Poodle is presenting. They may ask questions like:

  • Is it dry?
  • Does it produce mucus?
  • Is it intermittent?
  • Does it occur after eating or physical activity?

Dependent on the answers to the above questions regarding the cough itself, your vet will determine whether or not your Poodle may suffer from bronchitis.

Other Testing

Physical examinations are not the only thing veterinarians will do to evaluate your Poodle’s probability of having bronchitis. Another testing that may be employed might include:

  • Laboratory testing including but not limited to blood count, urinalysis, heartworm testing, and/or fecal analysis.
  • Diagnostic imaging including but not limited to chest radiographs, ultrasounds, bronchoscopy, etc…
  • Airway sampling including but not limited to tracheal wash.
  • Lung function testing including but not limited to arterial blood gas samples, 6-minute walk test, etc…

Coupled with the physical exam, these other tests may be used to help determine your Poodle’s diagnosis. If these tests come up inconclusive, your vet will explore other options to determine the cause of your Poodle’s persistent cough.

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Treating Bronchitis in Poodles

Canine bronchitis is something that can be treated, just like human bronchitis. Here are some avenues you might explore to remedy the situation:

Acute Bronchitis Treatment Possibilities

  • Limit perfumes, cigarettes, and other irritants
  • Dust frequently
  • Add humidifiers, air purifiers, and/or diffusers to your home
  • Change diet to healthier options
  • Use a harness rather than a collar and leash
  • Medication

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Chronic Bronchitis Treatment Possibilities

  • Coupage massage therapy (all-natural treatment done by trained therapists to clear symptoms)
  • Breathing treatments regularly
  • Medication
  • Limit exercise during flare-ups

According to veterinarians, chronic canine bronchitis is neither contagious or infectious. Dogs cannot pass chronic bronchitis onto another dog, which is good news for multiple dog homes or dogs who love to frolic with playmates at the park. However, this is not true when it comes to acute bronchitis.

Because acute bronchitis is typically caused by a bacterial infection, viruses, etc.., it is easy to catch from another pup. One of the most common forms of acute bronchitis is kennel cough, which is extremely contagious if not treated immediately in boarding locations or humane societies. The infection can be taken care of with appropriate medications from your veterinarian, hence why it is so important to seek treatment at the first signs of bronchitis!


Your Poodle may be experiencing some of these same signs and symptoms (or may in the future)! But have no fear – there is hope in sight. The great thing about modern technology and medicine is that canine bronchitis is at least treatable if not fixable. Whether it is acute or chronic bronchitis, your Poodle can still live a happy and healthy life if the right steps are taken to help them!

Take your dog out for a run, enjoy the sunshine, and rest assure that bronchitis doesn’t have to rule your pup’s life!

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