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I think Helix has kennel cough ...

September 2nd, 2007, 08:16 AM
Well I think I need some advice on this one. Friday night Helix started sort of retching a bit. He did it every once in a while and it continued (and worsened) all day Saturday. He's been eating and drinking normally, and his poop/pee is normal. He hasn't been lethargic, but possibly less "bouncy" than usual. He certainly looks and acts perky, he just sits a bit more than usual (he's probably a bit tired from all the coughing). I finally figured out he was
probably coughing! It kinda sounds like a dry cough-cough- retch and he sounds like he throws something up and swallows again (yuck, I know).

Because he hasn't seemed "sick" we didn't rush off to the vet yesterday- we didn't even worry about it until last night when it dawned on me that it was probably kennel cough. So here's the thing. No vets will be open today or tomorrow (long weekend) except the emergency vets ($$$). I have no problem going to an e-vet and paying the money, but is this really an emergency we should be going in for ASAP? I think it's probably fine to just wait it out until Tuesday if he continues eating, drinking, with no vomitting/ diarrhea etc. (But we will definitely be going to a vet!)

I know kennel cough just "runs it's course" and most treatment is supportive anyway, often antibiotics are not even prescribed. BTW, he has not been vaccinated- we weighed the pros and cons with our vet and he strongly suggested it was not worth it. If he was exposed, it was probably at doggie day care. He was there last Friday and this Friday. (so probably an incubation of 7 days). He doesn't go to dog parks and we haven't taken him anywhere else "dog related" recently. I haven't heard about any cases from the day care, but if it is confirmed that he has kennel cough, we'll give them a call (they know he's not vaccinated for it, they don't even recommend it themselves, it's not really a huge problem here).

So has anyone else dealt with this at all? I think we'll have to for sure keep him "quarantined" until he is better so that he doesn't spread it. Thanks for your input! I just hate to see him coughing!

September 2nd, 2007, 08:34 AM
Most cases of KC are not dangerous--there are a few that do require meds. We had one nasty case that involved both antibiotics and cough suppressant for 6 of the dogs. Probably, Helix can wait to see the vet unless he gets feverish, lethargic, stops drinking, or stops eating. Otherwise, waiting till Tuesday should be long as you're sure it's a KC case and not something like a foreign object? But if he gets worse, I wouldn't hesitate to call a clinic with emergency service and at least ask for advice.

Quarantine is a must--and a call to the daycare--likely they will now be getting a bunch of calls. :rolleyes:

In our experience, the vaccination doesn't help much, anyway--there seem to be as many varieties of KC as there are of the common cold in humans. Our dogs are all vaccinated, and we've had 3 cases of KC--all of them contracted by one of our dogs while boarded (at the vet for the day, no less :p) and brought home to all the others. You haven't lived till you've had 6 dogs all hacking at once! :eek:

I hope Helix is better soon! :fingerscr

September 2nd, 2007, 09:35 AM
Ditto on everything Hazel said , we had a bad case of the cough when I brought Daisy home from the spca (she gave it to Bailey) I use to give them some honey to soothe their troats.

September 2nd, 2007, 10:27 AM
Thanks! I'm glad my instincts have been right on this one... I know KC isn't that "bad" and more like a cold for dogs. We'll take him in on Tuesday to his regular vet to get checked out, but we'll definitely go to the emergency vet if his symptoms warrant it. We'll be calling daycare too to let them know if it's KC for sure and I also need to let one of my friend's know because Helix got to briefly play with her dog on Thursday...No walks and no day care for a couple of weeks is going to be soooo hard! We don't have a fenced backyard so there is really no place for him to go expend his energy. He's going to drive us insane. :crazy:

Is there anything I can give him to ease his coughing? I was reading about robutussin DM or possibly just a bit of honey and a humidifier. I think I'll probably wait until Tuesday for anything medicine like, but something like honey might be a good start...

September 2nd, 2007, 11:27 AM
I think your instincts are right in staying away from the human medicines until a Vet check. A little bit of honey can't hurt though! Just one other thing ~ did you pry his jaws wide open and peer in and down with a flashlight to make sure there isn't a piece of thread wrapped around a tooth or some other foreign object stuck in his mouth or throat ?

September 2nd, 2007, 12:07 PM
Hope Helix is feeling better soon. Poor little fella

September 2nd, 2007, 12:25 PM
I haven't checked his throat with a flashlight yet- I'll try to dig up a small one and look again. The cough is definitely different then yesterday- yesterday he just sounded like he was trying to get something out of his throat (which is what we thought) but last night he coughed all night long and it's become a deep cough and he doesn't gag all the time anymore. He seems to be handling it better now than last night though, and it certainly hasn't dampened his spirits at all! He ate well and seems normal otherwise, although I did see him sneeze once too.

September 2nd, 2007, 03:42 PM
Bailey,our walking-companion,was coughing for a few days,after spending a week in a kennel.
No meds were needed,it just went away,she's fine now,I hope cutie Felix will be too.:pray:

September 2nd, 2007, 04:27 PM
My 3 year KC vaccinated Eskimo came down with KC in June - seem to be a lot of it going around. We did go to the vet the day after he started coughing - it was really bad and in 1976 our Beagle, just rescued from the HS nearly died from a really bad case of KC. In those days, there was no treatment so I was very antsy. The Beagle had the worst case signs - green discharge etc. from nose. Eskie did not, but needed to catch in the bud. Vet prescribed a dog cough depressant - he was given 15 pills, but I only used 3 of them and he stopped coughing after second day on meds. If a fever had developed and the green discharge etc. he would have had to go on antibiotics. The KC shot does not of course protect pups from all strains of KC, but it does apparently help with the recovery period - it is shorter. I too would stay away from human meds until vet has seen your dog. Since I am allergic to cold meds myself I wasn't about to mess about with drugstore products. I had a hard enough time finding plain, ordinary Benadryl in case of an emergency due to a bee sting. They had Benadryl plus, plus, plus - just wanted ordinary. Of course I will be the one to be stung and the bees seem to be particularly big this year. I hope your dog is okay. The other thing to watch out for is if your dog is a grass eater, sometimes a piece of grass will get stuck way up in the dog's nose and it will have to be pull out by vet's and dog has to be put under for them to see if this is the case. My vet mentioned this because my Eskie is a serious landscaper and Hoover. Fortunately it did not come to this. Definitely no day care this week. My guy goes every Thursday - he came down with the symptoms on a Thursday night so I did not take him the next week but waited for 2 weeks just in case - but did let them know.

September 2nd, 2007, 06:25 PM
I hope Helix feels better soon. I agree with the honey.

Antibiotics are pretty much useless with a cold anyway - colds are caused by viruses and antibiotics only help a bacterial infection. So he'd only need those if it developed into anything more serious!

Re benadryl, you can usually find the Equate version at WalMart - just the basic ingredient. They use the same thing in various OTC sleep remedies and then charge a small fortune for them. It is so sedating tho!!