In young dogs, kennel cough (also known as infectious tracheobronchitis) is a common cause of goose-like honking. Kennel cough is a contagious disease that almost never is life-threatening. Most cases are self-limiting (which means that they resolve on their own without treatment).
In older small dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers, a syndrome called collapsing trachea frequently leads to a honking cough. Collapsing trachea occurs when the firm rings supporting the wind pipe begin to weaken. It leads to a chronic tickle in the throat.
Heart disease is another common cause of coughing in older small dogs. Yorkies sometimes develop leaky heart valves as they age. This causes fluid to build up in the lungs which leads to coughing.
Several less common causes of coughing also are possible. These include, among others, pneumonia, bronchitis and heartworm. Visit my website for more information, or, better yet, go to the vet for a proper diagnosis.
Photo: Minnie at the beach. No sign of coughing.
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