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Coughing Pup

Coughing Pup

Postby Taylor_B » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:59 am

About 2 or 3 weeks ago, we started to notice our 1.5 year old setter developing an intermittent cough. Nothing serious and didn't affect his energy/mood at all. At the time, it was prime allergy season in Western PA, so we figured that, since his energy levels appeared to be OK and he wasn't producing any nasty stuff from the cough, he might just be having an allergic reaction.

Just the past week or so, the cough has turned considerably more severe. He sounds "congested" and the cough often sounds phlegmy, though he's not producing any mucus when he's coughing. He's coughing a lot more frequently, and into the night.

The earliest vet appointment I can get him is Thursday, so we're taking him then.
But any recommendations for soothing his cough before then? It's definitely keeping him up at night, and starting to take a toll on his time spent running outside (...which he LOVES, so when we take that away, he gets verrrrry grumpy!)
We let him out yesterday and he coughed considerably while he ran in the yard, so we brought him in. Figured he needs to rest and not irritate things further. He still wants to go run and play, and he still seems happy overall, just can't shake this cough!

Was worried about Kennel Cough - but it's more of a moist sounding cough
Any thoughts? Cough remedies are welcome. I read about providing robutussin, but the information I read suggested not to give it to a dog under 2 years old (??? not sure why?)
Thanks!
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby NEhomer » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:10 am

I'm surprised that your vet isn't more urgent about the situation.

Best of luck.
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby Taylor_B » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:15 am

NEhomer wrote:I'm surprised that your vet isn't more urgent about the situation.

Best of luck.



Hi there!
Do you think there might be reason to be considerably more concerned? If so, I can call a second vet and see if we're able to get him in there before Thursday?
I certainly don't want him to develop pneumonia ... that's my biggest worry.
Thanks!
-Brooke
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby shags » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:11 pm

If it were my dog, I'd get him to the vet pdq. Coughing isn't an emergency, but it can be something that needs to be attended. Before you call, take the dog's temp; if it's above normal, the vet would like to know. Also, put your ear to the dog's chest and listen for weezing or crackling sounds in his lungs, and let the vet know if it's noisy in there.

Good luck , here's hoping it's nbd.
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby Sharon » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:40 pm

Any more news Taylor B. ?
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby Taylor_B » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:19 pm

Sharon wrote:Any more news Taylor B. ?


Hi All!
Yes - we have an update.
I called a second vet and they were able to take him this evening.
He has pneumonia, which both we, and the vet, were all very surprised by, considering his energy levels and personality appear to be totally normal, aside from his cough (which is at its worst in the middle of the night). The vet suggested that some dogs need hospitalization and breathing treatments for pneumonia but he seems to be handling it very well (still super perky, very energetic, and playful).

The one other concern was that, on his x-rays, his blood vessels around his heart appeared enlarged. The vet believes that they only appear enlarged right now because of the extra inflammation around his lungs, but nonetheless, we had them sent to a radiologist to review them. He's very young, but if he has any form of heart disease we want to know so we can do whatever we need to do to keep him happy and healthy.

UGH. These dogs! They stress me out! They're our babies though - we'll do anything to make sure they're happy!
Any experience with heart issues in young pups? I'm so nervous about heart disease! Praying our little man is OK!
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby NEhomer » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:24 pm

Glad he's on the mend...and good thing you got him in to the doc's. Like I said, 4 days seemed like a long time to wait for treatment of that sort.

They do stress us out....and our wallets!
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby ghideon » Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:23 am

I have an 11mo old GSP. He had kennel cough around 8mo old from some of the dogs in the park.

The kennel cough sounded uncongested to my ears. It was very dry/hacking with no phlegm. He's got a cough right now (that's going away) that's a little more congested/phlemgy.

When he had kennel cough the energy level dropped to the floor. At that time we were spending ~2.5-3hrs in the park on and off leash. Since some of the other dogs were diagnosed with it I had an early warning. I'm pretty sure he actually had a fever when we brought him to the vet the next day. When they diagnose kennel cough they will proscribe antibiotics to head off any pneumonia issues. In my park there was a young pup and an old dog who both ended up having pneumonia due to kennel cough. In the pup's case it was because it went un-diagnosed. In the older dog's case (2x cancer survivor, 14yr old lab) it mostly related to age.

I'm still watching this new cough. He's coughing up phlegm which he never did with the kennel cough. Energy is still high out in the park, he just sleeps more after running in the park for an hour. At some point I do have to admit he's growing up and doesn't have that awesome 'puppy energy.' If it doesn't clear by the weekend he'll be back at the vet.
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby Taylor_B » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:32 pm

ghideon wrote:I have an 11mo old GSP. He had kennel cough around 8mo old from some of the dogs in the park.

The kennel cough sounded uncongested to my ears. It was very dry/hacking with no phlegm. He's got a cough right now (that's going away) that's a little more congested/phlemgy.

When he had kennel cough the energy level dropped to the floor. At that time we were spending ~2.5-3hrs in the park on and off leash. Since some of the other dogs were diagnosed with it I had an early warning. I'm pretty sure he actually had a fever when we brought him to the vet the next day. When they diagnose kennel cough they will proscribe antibiotics to head off any pneumonia issues. In my park there was a young pup and an old dog who both ended up having pneumonia due to kennel cough. In the pup's case it was because it went un-diagnosed. In the older dog's case (2x cancer survivor, 14yr old lab) it mostly related to age.

I'm still watching this new cough. He's coughing up phlegm which he never did with the kennel cough. Energy is still high out in the park, he just sleeps more after running in the park for an hour. At some point I do have to admit he's growing up and doesn't have that awesome 'puppy energy.' If it doesn't clear by the weekend he'll be back at the vet.


Hi Ghideon -
If he's coughing up phlegm, I'd say play it safe and get him to a vet sooner than later! It's my understanding that kennel cough is usually a dryer cough (from what I've read on the subject). The phlegm was the big change for me that really indicated we needed to go have a doctor take a listen to his lungs. He just sounded congested.
They found a considerable case of pneumonia in his left lung. The vet actually suggested that she, too, was shocked by the diagnosis since his case of pneumonia would've put most other dogs in the hospital.
The biggest issue for us was that his energy levels were not affected whatsoever by the cough - thus I assumed it was just an allergic reaction to spending extra time in the field during the fall (when all of the brush and trees are dropping leaves). He was his normal, rambunctious, running-like-a-wild-man self. And his cough, though present, was not constant. It was more frequent at night and early morning. If you've noticed any fluctuation in energy, even minuscule changes, I'd get him to the vet. Some field-bred dogs are super good at hiding any issues because their energy is so off the charts to begin with that any fluctuation that might indicate an infection or illness would seem like normal behavior for other dogs! I'd recommend playing it safe and seeing if the vet can fit you in before the weekend. If it comes back to be no big deal, at least you'll have peace of mind! but if it shows a pneumonia, you can start treatment that much faster!
Best of Luck! Hoping your pup feels better soon!
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby brady124 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:37 pm

do you have fox tail in your area? I know a guy who has had his dogs to vet with it in there throats
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Re: Coughing Pup

Postby Taylor_B » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:50 pm

Hi Brady
We live in Western PA, and yes, we do have foxtail nearby.
Luckily, after starting antibiotics, our guy recovered from his pneumonia.
He was cleared just before the start of pheasant season to be back in the field (however, we've only taken him intermittently as the vet suggested just allowing him to ease back into it).

We're still working on toning down his energy and holding a point consistently in the field (he does this for us at home, but when we're at a new place, he just wants to GO! ....So the work continues!)...but giving him a break has left more time for training, so that's ok!

I was super concerned about the whole "grass awn" inhalation thing, but our vet suggested that, as long as his cough cleared up after treatment, and didn't consistently reappear, that likely wasn't the cause.
She thinks it could have been an aspiration pneumonia from drinking water while out in the field (running, breathing hard, and gulping water could have led him to suck some down the wrong pipe and into his lung!)

The grass awns are definitely a concern though! After this incident, I've become a lot more aware of them!
Thanks!
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