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Persistent Cough
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Persistent Cough

Dear Vets,

I am really hoping to get some solid advice on what I should do about my coughing puppy. Sammie came to me at 8 weeks old July 23rd, 2008.  She is a shih-tzu and poodle mixed puppy.  She was healthy, happy and well socialized.  She coughed a few times but not noticeably bad.  It was probably only once or twice a day so we weren't too concerned.  About 1.5 weeks later, we left the house and she had escaped her kennel and had her run of the house.  When we came home several hours later, she was hacking, heaving and coughing terribly.  It continued and we took her to the vet.  The vet said she had kennel cough and gave her a course of antibiotics.  It seemed to have gotten better for a week but resumed and has gotten progressively worst.  It is about 4 weeks and her coughing is happening throughout the day but it gets particularly bad before she naps and especially in the night. She can't get any peaceful sleep and neither can we.

I'm not sure if her cough is due to something she ingested that day that we escaped and ran around the house or if she had already been infected with something like kennel cough or parainfluenza.  A vet suggested a collapsed trachea but her cough sounds more like retching rather than a honking.  She acts like she is trying to hack something out of her throat.  It use to sound like a dry cough but now, there might, not certain to involve a mucus sound.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be?
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14 Comments Post a Comment
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274158_tn?1276350787
Are the vets sure its just not a bad case of kennel cough? My dog had to do 2 or 3 rounds of antibiotics to finally get rid of it. Sometimes it just takes a while for it to go away. When my dog had it, it also sounded like retching, white foam ould come up too, because she was coughing so hard.
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Avatar_n_tn
My puppy is doing the same thing right now!!!  And no one seems to be able to tell me what is wrong with her.  Did you ever find out what was wrong with Sammie?  The symptoms you described were exactly what my puppy is going through now--and we're going on week 5 of this!!  Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
hi

agree with fourpaws , Kennel cough....!  remember your dog is a puppy and is unable to fight this aswell as a full grown dog , so this would be alot worse for a puppy to fight...and will need alot of TLC and more antibiotics ...

hope your pup gets better soon

ne55
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Avatar_n_tn
I have spoken with my vet about kennel cough, but the cough does not sound like the dry, hacking cough of kennel cough.  It is a very congested sounding cough.  Also, we have had her on multiple doses of antibiotics, some of which were some very high-powered ones in combination with a low-dose steriod, which carry some very serious side effects for such a tiny puppy.  Her appetite and energy level do not seem to be affected at this point, although after 5 weeks, her mood seems to be deteriorating now, especially at night when the coughing is the worst.  I know it is possible that it is indeed kennel cough, but my vet seems to believe that it is some kind of persistent bacterial infection like bronchitis.....I'm just worried that it's been 5 weeks and we haven't seen any improvement at all.....Just wondering if anyone else who has been through the same thing can tell me what ended up being the diagnosis so that we can get her on the correct medication and get it cleared up!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you had her heart checked by the vet... coughing is a symptom of heart disease ... but would be rare in a puppy ...but something to check anyway just in case...

ne55
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Avatar_f_tn
Is it possible that the dog flu is going around,or a different strain of the kennel cough?
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507241_tn?1225495385
I am going through the same thing with my dog.I adopted her from the shelter 2 weeks ago tomorrow and she also has kennel cough according to the vet.The cough and retching just isn't going away.She vomits every time she drinks water

She was on antibiotics and finished them yesterday and since she sounded the same I called the vet.He said to put her on another week of antibiotics. It does sound like they are trying to expel something from their throat when coughing.I find the cough is at its worse when she comes out of her crate in the morning

The dog is about 9 months old
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same thing with my 5 month old puppy.  She was bad with kennel cough when I got her (rescue assosiation) at 8 weeks.  She had the antibiotics and medicine + vet visits.

The vet said small breeds can have a problem with the trachea, that the muscles around it do not support it properly?

He wanted to do xrays but I said let us wait and see. Anyway I dont know what he can do about that?

It has taken ages, but it is clearing and she only coughs in the morning now.  She sleeps all night in her bed, without moving as she has an active day.

So we are down to one good coughing session a day and I think it will clear eventualy.  But honestely it takes months and months but it is on the way out.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, we visit the vet again on Saturday, so we'll be talking to him again about if there's anything else we can do for her.  I will let everyone know if I get any new information, but it seems like from what you all are saying that we are going to have a LONG road ahead of us!!!  I'm just glad to know it doesn't sound like anything serious and hopefully it will clear up eventually....

I have actually considered a heart murmur because it is becoming increasingly common in her breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  Some statistics say that as many as 46% of Cavaliers have some form of the heart murmur because breeders are failing to screen the parents before breeding them.....The vet has checked for it, but you just never know.....We'll keep our fingers crossed that it's nothing like that!
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Avatar_n_tn
We saw the vet on Saturday, and he said that she probably does have either an infection in her trachea or kennel cough.  He put her on another dose of antibiotics, a stronger dose than before, and a stronger cough suppressant with a narcotic analgesic, believe it or not :)  Anyway, he said that we are going to have a check-up for her again this Saturday, and if she hasn't improved, we will have to do some x-rays of her trachea to see if there are some additional complications there.  I'm really hoping it doesn't come to that--especially since we're now getting close to Christmas!!!  But we'll do what we have to do to make sure she gets better.....So far, we've seen an improvement in the cough since she's been on the medication, so that's a good thing.
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Avatar_n_tn
Ask your vet if your dog could have blastomycosis. My grand dog was just diagnosed with this. She was coughing and then developed a lesion on her foot that was analyzed. She also had lung x-rays and found to have blasto. It is spores from the ground that the dog breathes. The spores get into the lungs and can be deadly. The meds are VERY expensive. Check it out with your vet and good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
That is EXACTLY what happened to my puppy. He had kennel cough, and the vet gave him antibiotics and a shot in his throat. It seemed better for a while. After he had finished his meds, it seemed to get worse than ever, especially at night. It SLOWLY got better. After about a month or two he coughed only a few times a day. He's all better now. Kennel Cough is really puppy bronchitis. So, just like when people get bronchitis, it takes quite a while to get over it, longer for smaller dogs.
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Avatar_m_tn
Spunky is a 15 year male that has developed the same exact symptoms described here! A coughing that seems to be accentuated when he drinks and boy he drinks. Seems like he wants to hack something out of his trachea but nothing comes out. Sometimes some mucous fluid does come out but the vet hasn't been able to pinpoint the cause.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am having the same problem. I have 2 cavachons( they are 1/2 Bichon & 1/2 King Charles spaniel:)  My girl is 3 1/2 months & her cough sounds like she's trying to hack something up. Antibiotics didn't work & now I give her a 1/4 tab of Benadryl  a day. It seems to be helping a little, but still concerned.
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