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Guest GoingGrey

Kennel Cough Experience?

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Guest GoingGrey

I think Jammer has kennel cough...

At first i thought it was her usual habit of drinking water too fast then cough/gagging it up. Then it started happening without the water, and it would be a couple hacks and an unproductive gag at the end. It was never constant or alarmingly often, and she never showed any other signs of being ill, so when I saw some videos online of the same thing I was surprised to learn it was probably Kennel cough. (Her last bordatella was 2014.)

 

I understand this generally runs its course in 3-4 weeks in healthy dogs and there's not much to be done other than supportive care unless it appears to trigger a bacterial infection/pnuemonia. However, it's been at least a month and a half and she's still doing the hack hack gag thing a few times a day, but still not acting any different than normal.

 

I know it's time to take her to the vet, I just wanted to check in here and see if anyone had any advice or experience.

 

(I understand how contagious it is, etc., so I've kept that under consideration. She doesn't go to day care or spend much time around new dogs, so I'm not sure how she got it--probably a random dog on a leash-meet.).

 

Thanks!

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Not much to do, I think, except make sure the vet's staff knows why you're bringing her in. Then, maybe call them from the car when you get there and see if they're ready for her. They're probably going to want to get her straight into an exam room. In fact, it might be that someone will come out to the car to check her out, depending on how things are at the clinic.

 

When a canine influenza outbreak happened two summers ago, one local vet's staff treated dogs in the owners' cars rather than risk them inside, where there were other sick dogs and boarding clients.


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Back in the day lots of pound dogs (including many greys) and lots of kennel cough. WAY back then they had us use Robitussin DM at night so they could sleep and have them hack during the day but I'm sure that has long been debunked so I'm no help.

 

Just tell the vet why you are coming and they'll plan accordingly. All my vets have said the bordatella vaccine is a crap shoot as, like the flu vaccine, there's are always new strains. :dunnno


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A home video of Jammer coughing (dry cough and gagging water) could help your vet determine a diagnosis if Jammer happens to be quiet during the vet visit. It might be a from different cause.

 

(A couple of our hounds had a throat condition that I mentioned during a prior vet visit, but it wasn't diagnosed until the vet happened to see them performing the action during a later visit.)

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I'd speak with your vet before taking your pup into the waiting room, but a hack/gag a couple times a day isn't kennel cough. Some inaccurate videos maybe?

 

In my experience, kennel cough is 10 days of miserable loud honking cough extravaganza every time the dog moves, including overnight.

 

Best luck to you and your pup!


Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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A freind's dog got seriously ill with pneuomonia after a bout of kennel cough. It wasn't a normal or simple pneumonia either and took months to get better. So never assume that it's 'just' Kennel Cough.

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I hear dog flu is making the rounds pretty heavily around here again, so I'd consider that as well.


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Kennel cough produces a dry, hacking, occasionally productive cough, which may persist for a long time. It is highly contagious and your dog should be seen by a veterinarian. And yes, please inform the front desk staff about your dog's cough, so the staff can usher you into an exam room asap, directly from the car, to avoid the waiting room. Also, know that other contagious agents, like parainfluenza, a virus, can cause a cough. Both bordetella and parainfluenza can be avoided by vaccination.

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My guys get a Bordetella vaccination/sniff every 6 months. Don't take any chances and it's cheap.


 

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Guest GoingGrey

Thanks, everybody. I'm a little concerned...

 

I decided to wait on taking her to the vet because it seemed like she was starting to get better and it had been long enough that bordatella should have run its course (and not much the vet could do, anyway, especially at that point). Plus, she hasn't seen many other dogs since this started than the ones she already sees regularly and none of them are sick or have become sick in the last 2 mos. And her activity level, appetite and such are normal.

 

Yet this week she seems a bit worse so I'm worrying. She's still not coughing very often at all, but when she does it freaks me out. Maybe cuz I'm home too much (temporarily unemployed) and worry too much? We were on a 2.5 hr walk last weekend and she didn't cough once. But when drinking water or eating, there's always the cough, cough, cough, gag, urp up whatever has barely even gone down. And when she gets excited or runs around in the yard, she hack hacks a time or two then gags. Occasionally i'll hear her hacking from the other room for a few seconds, then later I'll encounter a small puddle of water with saliva, (which makes for a crazy slippery spot you can't see on hardwood floors late at night in your slippers, btw). And it doesn't happen at night/when she's sleeping either.

 

I've heard about the post-bordatella pneumonia, and have been aware of the CIV (canine influenza virus) and its persistance/reoccurance in Chicago these last few years. Regarding the vaccines, I've read that bordatella vaccine has a less than 50% of prevention and the CIV vaccine has had trouble keeping up with the latest mutations so it also has a prevention rate less than 100%.

 

3greytjoys--good idea to take a video. It would be identical to all those i've seen showing bordatella, but it doesn't seem that it's as *frequent* as bordatella coughing, i don't think... Her gums seem a bit redder than normal which I think can indicate congestion. I'll get her to the vet if not tomorrow then early next week, but I'm wondering if anyone's had anything similar or knows if this sounds more like CIV than influenza...

 

Thanks!!

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Could it possibly be early onset of laryngeal paralysis? I went through this with Percy. Caught it soon enough that he did not need the tie back surgery. He was put on doxepin (also mentioned in the attached video). Might be worth trying a doxepin Rx for a week. Inexpensive and given twice a day. I could tell when it was time for another dose.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfwYgGdxWEQ

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9qqrZ58sMQ


 

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My vet suggested allergies (apart from kennel cough) when tracker showed these symptoms. It is spring time, so maybe pollen?

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Years ago I had a dog with what I thought was kennel cough. Looked and sounded just like it on Youtube. Found out it was CHF.

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Could it possibly be early onset of laryngeal paralysis? I went through this with Percy. Caught it soon enough that he did not need the tie back surgery. He was put on doxepin (also mentioned in the attached video). Might be worth trying a doxepin Rx for a week. Inexpensive and given twice a day. I could tell when it was time for another dose.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfwYgGdxWEQ

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9qqrZ58sMQ

I wondered about LP too but early onset would be more difficult for GoingGrey to recognize.

 

(BTW, the vet in the video grabbing and pulling that poor Labrador's collar from the side was choking him further by cutting off his paralyzed airway! One of the worst things for LP dogs is wearing a collar, or having any other pressure on their throat from clothing or petting etc.)

 

 

GoingGrey: In addition to taking a video of Jammer during a coughing episode for your vet to see, it could be very helpful for us to see also. I've had two Greyhounds with LP and each one presented symptoms slightly differently. Laryngeal paralysis was the diagnosis to which I referred in post #4 above.

 

ETA: Dark red (or purplish) gums/tongue can also be a sign of increasing temperature while trying to breathe in oxygen during an LP flare up. Bluish gums/tongue are a lack of oxygen emergency.

Edited by 3greytjoys

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I had a dog with kennel cough. I took him to the vet. He was completely well in 3 weeks. I doubt your dog has kennel cough. I think it is past time to take Jammer to the vet. 1 1/2 months is too long. It could be something serious and putting it off will only make it worse. JMO.

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I agree, it's time to get him into the vet. I wondered too about CHF, but since he was fine during the walk, but has issues while eating/drinking LP seems like a good possibility. Better to get on top of diagnosing whatever it is!


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Guest GoingGrey

Thanks again for all your thoughts/experiences. Update: Been to the vet twice now with no firm diagnosis yet. Currently considering LP, megaesophagus or a fungal infection...

 

First visit: she looked good, no evidence of lymphadenopathy, lungs sounded normal, etc. Went home w/chlor trimeton to see if it could be due to allergies and recommendation to come back for chest films if not. This *seemed* to help, but could be cuz it made her drowsy, and the cough is less likely to happen when she's sleeping.

 

Meantime, I consult (remotely) my grey-specialist vet. She says she NEVER sees cough-gagging as part of allergies; only itchy skin and tearing eyes. Crap. In fact, she's concerned it could be a fungal infection cuz she's currently treating 2 greys for blastomycosis. Double Crap.

 

2nd vet visit: xray looked normal.

 

I'll follow up with my grey vet next week, but in the meantime I wonder:

 

1. aren't fungal infections a concern only for elderly or immunocompromised dogs?

2. Only heard about 4 cough episodes today so far. There's less gagging and regurge at the end now, wonder what that means...

3. Babysat a hound last week who did exactly the sound of the yellow lab in the video, @3greytjoys. First time i heard a dog make a sound like that!

5. Also, you're right--if it's LP then it's early stage cuz there's no wheezing or whistling

 

I got a video of her today and I will try to post on youtube or somewhere--stay tuned.

 

Again, I appreciate everyone's thoughts. Crowd-sourcing medical issues is so much better than me alone, chasing worst-case-scenarios down internet rabbit holes while waiting impatiently for the busy professionals to get back to me! ha.

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Fungal infections can and do affect any age dog. Alas.


Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest GoingGrey

Oops, meant to shout out to @macoduck for originally including the helpful video links.

 

@Batmom--good to know. Been reading so much in the last 48hrs i can't really keep one fungal spore straight from another. Gah!

 

Also forgot to mention my grey vet had me treat Jammer for nasal worms (Eucoleus) just in case. Tho the main symptom is reverse sneezing, which she rarely does, I gave her some Ivomec yesterday in her food. My doc thinks most greys are chronically infected with them, as they are w/hookworms. (She was Sr. Vet of WI Gaming Department for 14 years, saved Elvis' life to give me 6 more mos w/him last year, so I tend to trust her)

 

Here's Jam's cough today. https://vimeo.com/210088960

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