Questions about kennel cough in a puppy

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Questions about kennel cough in a puppy

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Old 07-07-2011, 10:36 AM
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Questions about kennel cough in a puppy

I was supposed to be picking up my new puppy yesterday but the breeders contacted me to say that she had started coughing. They were concerned that if it was anything infectious they didn't want Synnu picking it up too so persuaded me to leave her with them for a couple of days. Initially their vet said it wasn't kennel cough, but now they say it is. Apart from the cough, there's nothing wrong with her - she's sleeping, playing, eating and 'toileting' just fine. When I spoke to the breeders today they said she's hardly coughing at all now.

The breeder's vet has given the puppy antibiotics as a precaution and suggested she take them for a few days before feeling confident to introduce her to a home with a resident dog.

Obviously this is all really disappointing as I was so looking forward to picking her up. Having said that, I'm pleased the breeders are acting responsibly and showing concern for Synnu as well as wanting to make sure the new pup is OK.

I've looked up information about kennel cough and it doesn't seem that serious. However, what I can't seem to find out is if it causes any long term problems when such a young puppy gets it? How long do they remain infectious for? Also, will having it make her more susceptible to it in the future?
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:23 PM
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Sarah, I can't offer you much info on kennel cough, but I can empathize with the heart break of the delay. Our Tessa had a touch of Coccidia before we got her and that caused a one week delay in her flight to us. It was hard to wait!

The other comment I might make is that the transition to a new home, no matter how lovely as yours certainly is, will add some stress to the pup, so waiting until she is healthy may make good sense!

Good luck, and do keep us updated!
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:54 AM
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Ditto Tess!
Sorry that you had to wait, but she'll be home with you before you know it!
Be sure to share lots of photos!
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:59 AM
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All being well I'll be collecting her next Friday. It seems like ages to wait but I'm hoping to pick up a healthy pup. I'm hoping to go to the vets with the breeders next Wednesday when they take her for a check up and, providing there's nothing untoward, I'll go back and collect her Friday morning.

There will be pics!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:07 AM
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My vet described it to me as the equivalent of a cold. I don't think your new girl will have any ongoing issues and catching one cold doesn't make you any more predisposed to getting them in the future.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:11 AM
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It isn't all that serious to a degree and won't cause any long-term effects in the pup-- and she shouldn't be predisposed to getting it any easier in the future.

The problem is that the pup may take up to 6 weeks to be totally normal... and is shedding the disease for up to 3 months after infection. If Synnu hasn't had a Bordetella vaccine in the last 3-6 months, he should absolutely be boostered before the pup comes home (to be safe, it should be a week before the pup comes home)! While the vaccine isn't 100% protective, it does lessen the course of infection and clinical signs if Synnu were to become infected.

The problems with Kennel Cough are usually secondary-- pneumonia or excessive acting up of a collapsing trachea in small dogs if they already have problems.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:19 AM
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There is a massive difference in opinion with regards to the seriousness of Kennel Cough and I base this on my experience. I picked my Beagle, Loui, up from a breeder when he was 12 weeks old. I instantly fell in love with him but I soon realised there was something seriously wrong with him.

He was coughing dreadfully and being a new dog owner I really did not know what to do. I rang the breeder to ask if he had shown any signs of illness prior to me collecting him. The answer was of course "NO". I took him to the vets who told me it was not Kennel Cough as I suggested. They put him on anti-biotics for a virus, they didnt work. I took him back to the vets, they were scratching their heads, they put him on different pills, another week later still no improvement. By this time he was seriously ill and it was clear he was not going to make it.

My insurance was not valid as I could not claim within 2 weeks of taking the policy out so all these vets visits and different pills were costing hundreds. In desperation I rang the breeder again to try and get more info on his health. They offered me a refund or another dog and they would take Loui back! Like I could just send him back! Not a chance, I now had a horrible feeling about the ethics of this breeder and what they would do with Loui IF I did send him back.

After 4 weeks of going back and forth to the vets they admitted him as he was so ill. They put a camera down his throat to investigate and put him on a drip. Guess what? Yes, after 4 weeks and 800 later, they decide he HAS got Kennel Cough! They put him on anti-biotics that were specific to Kennel Cough (why they didnt do this when I first presented I do not know). and then he was better, he still coughed but was no longer poorly sick!

Obviously I changed vets disgusted by their lack of knowledge of something as trivial as Kennel Cough. They could have saved loui weeks of suffering if they had recognised the obvious.

Sorry I've harped on! I just wanted to demonstrate Kennel cough can be very serious if left untreated.

Loui has to have his Kennel Cough Vaccination annually and now his insurance is void for any kind of cough not just Kennel Cough!

Even after his Kennel Cough was treated & he was no longer poorly he still had a bad cough, spluttering,and hacking thing going on. We have had dozens more visits to the vets over the last 3 years. We have had blood tests and poop tests done to try and establish why he continues to cough but to no avail. The last diagnosis was long term damage to his lungs from the Kennel Cough. Not buying it I took him to yet another vets for a 2nd opinion and they have said he displays all the symptoms of Asthma! He has been on steroids for 3 days and the cough has virtually disappeared and he is like a new dog! Fingers crossed he continues to improve on these steroids. Not once has the word "Asthma" been mentioned by the vets. Why???

I'm guessing you will have to declare the cough to your insurers. Also he will have to start his puppy vaccinations again as some medications effect them. Please be careful, it is good that the breeder is being responsible and has advised you of these problems but after my experience (which is probably a massive exception) I would always now be very cautious. Good Luck
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:50 AM
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NOW I'm worried! Synnu has never been immunised against Kennel Cough as far as I know. I was concerned about such a young puppy getting it, though she seems absolutely fine by all accounts. When you say 'shed' Holly do you mean that she could continue to infect other dogs even though she doesn't display any symptoms? And, what do you mean that it could take six weeks to be totally normal - what could be happening in this time?

jem2000 - poor Loui and poor you. Sounds like you've had a terrible time. Thanks for spelling out what you went through as it helps me think of things to ask the vet and breeder when I see them next week. Hopefully, as it was diagnosed so early, the pup will be fine. I know she's on antibiotics and last I heard (day before yesterday) she'd all but stopped coughing.

I'll keep you posted.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah W View Post
NOW I'm worried! Synnu has never been immunised against Kennel Cough as far as I know. I was concerned about such a young puppy getting it, though she seems absolutely fine by all accounts. When you say 'shed' Holly do you mean that she could continue to infect other dogs even though she doesn't display any symptoms? And, what do you mean that it could take six weeks to be totally normal - what could be happening in this time?

jem2000 - poor Loui and poor you. Sounds like you've had a terrible time. Thanks for spelling out what you went through as it helps me think of things to ask the vet and breeder when I see them next week. Hopefully, as it was diagnosed so early, the pup will be fine. I know she's on antibiotics and last I heard (day before yesterday) she'd all but stopped coughing.

I'll keep you posted.

Synnu should absolutely be immunized a week before that puppy comes home. Sorry to worry you, but I think it's a valid concern. She absolutely can spread it to other dogs with no signs of it for up to 3 months. In the most ideal world she wouldn't have contact with other dogs during this period but no one does this in real life because it's not reasonable. Holly gave our other dog kennel cough when we first got her and our other dog was immunized against it... but also has a collapsing trachea so she had a really hard time getting over it. Holly was fine within a week but the other dog felt sick for about 4 weeks.

Because the other pup is reportedly acting fine, then you probably wouldn't see any residual signs like decreased appetite, residual coughing, lethargy etc. But take my other dog as an example that it can take a while in some dogs for symptoms to go away.



Jem2000-- Asthma is very rare in dogs and I am highly suspicious that Loui does not have asthma (hence why no vets brought it up to you). Sounds like he got pneumonia from the kennel cough that permanently damaged his lungs. Just my opinion based on your post alone. Sounds like he wasn't given appropriate treatment with antibiotics/hospitalization/nebulization. There are no antibiotics specific to kennel cough but dogs are put on them for the secondary infections that may occur (and hence the pneumonia). FWIW.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:39 PM
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Holly is absolutely right, we had to keep Loui away from all dogs as not to spread it. It's highly contagious. Then having to start his vaccination all over again meant Loui didn't have his first outing in public until he was nearly 5 months old.

I appreciate what you say Holly regarding Asthma being rare in dogs. I've no reason to believe the vet we saw on Friday is wrong taking everything into consideration. We have spent nearly 4 years investigating his cough and whist it is highly probable that he could have long term damage to his lungs I have to be mindful that I have seen an amazing improvement since he has been put on Asthma medication. Having looked at various info pages on the internet I'm even more convinced that Loui has Asthma. I'm just glad that he is not having a hard time coughing and gasping any more. It was quite upsetting seeing him like it for so long and I'm also glad I didn't give up. I know vets are not gods but sometimes it does pay to get a second opinion.
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