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Brittany Spaniel cough

November 3rd, 2003, 05:29 PM
I have a 12-year-old Brittany Spaniel who has been in superior health until the last week. He suddenly developed a "whooping" type cough and coughs in spurts so hard it seems as though he is going to throw up ... yet he doesn't. The coughing happens periodically throughout the day and night and it appears that he is choking. The coughing periods are short but sporadic. Can anyone shed light on this for me? I took him to the vet today and the vet ran blood tests, etc., but nothing has shown up there.`

November 4th, 2003, 05:20 AM
Could it be kennel cough (aka Bordatella)? If he's been around any other dogs, it is very contagious and the affected dogs cough so hard they sound like they're choking. It is usually self limiting and resolves in 2-3 weeks.
Other things may be something lodged in his throat - even a grass seed stuck in his trachea, perhaps?
Also coughing can indicate heart problems.

I'd be surprised if your vet didn't mention any of these possibilities to you. Did he listen to his heart & lungs? Check his throat with the little light thingie? Ask if he'd been around other dogs or mention kennel cough?

If he did none of these things, I'd find another vet. The first thing that came to my mind was KC - and the exposure to dogs can be very brief for them to catch it.

November 4th, 2003, 05:37 PM
hi babstock
like carina, the first thing that sprung to my mind was also kennel cough. And Carina made some very valid points about questions your vet should have asked you, I would also seek a second opinion. Bloodwork would not give results in a day, it takes a bit longer to analyse and is usually only taken if there is a threat of pneumonia or bronchitis developing (occurs in a very small number of dogs). If this is the case, throat or nasal swabs should also have been taken from your dog so that the organisms responsible for the kc can be identitfied in order for the right medication to be administered. Also, heart worms can cause a terrible cough and these are very serious. However, as your dog has been in good health it's very, very unlikely to be worms.
As Carina said, if it's uncomplicated KC then there's not much point treating with drugs as it will clear up itself, like our flu, many organisms contribute to the actual symptoms of KC so it's quite difficult to treat without culturing swabs. But the main advice I have is to find another vet if he hasn't discussed any of the points Carina or myself have made.