What other symptoms might occur with a barking cough?

A barking cough may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.

A barking cough is often caused by croup. Croup usually starts as a mild cold with a fever, runny nose, poor appetite, and an occasional cough. As the illness progresses, the cough becomes more frequent and takes on the barking sound. The cough can be accompanied by hoarseness and abnormal breathing sounds. A croup cough is usually much worse at night and in dry rooms.

Common symptoms that may occur along with a barking cough

A barking cough may occur with other symptoms including:

Other symptoms that may occur along with a barking cough

A barking cough may accompany other less common symptoms including:

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, a barking cough can be lead to life-threatening situations. Choking and epiglottitis are always considered life-threatening conditions and croup can lead to life-threatening complications in some cases. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, your child, or someone you are with, have an undiagnosed barking cough or any of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal, hoarse or coarse breathing sounds (stridor)

  • Agitation or extreme irritability

  • Change in alertness or level of consciousness, such a lethargy, unresponsiveness, or passing out

  • Difficulty breathing, speaking or swallowing

  • Drooling

  • Not responding to home croup treatments, such as staying in a steamy bathroom

  • Pale or bluish coloration of the lips, skin or fingernails (cyanosis)

  • Shaking chills

  • Tugging, pulling, or collapsing of the muscles in the neck or between the ribs when breathing (muscle retractions)

  • Voice changes


What is a barking cough?

A barking cough is a dry, harsh cough that resembles the sound of a barking seal. This type of cough is most often associated with croup (laryngotracheitis). Croup is usually caused by viruses. Bacterial infection may occur secondarily. Parainfluenza virus type 1 is the most common cause of croup; other causes include respiratory syncytial virus and influenza virus. Croup causes swelling a... Read more about barking coughintroduction


What causes a barking cough?

A barking cough is most often associated with croup, a respiratory disease usually caused by a viral infection that mainly affects infants and children. A barking cough can also be caused by other factors that irritate and cause inflammation and swelling of the vocal cords, such as a bacterial infection or exposure to an allergen or an irritant, such as regurgitated stomach acid.

... Read more about barking coughcauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Ear, Nose and Throat

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