Thanks for the question,
While I cannot diagnose this via the internet I can tell you the following :
In direct answer to your question : I would not be at all surprised if Darby has not contracted an infectious respiratory disease such as kennel cough
. However where a dog has symptoms like that other diagnosis are certainly possible and these could include such things as heart disease and bronchitis but this would be very rare in a Cairn Terrier
of Darby's age group.
As kennel cough would be a front runner I will tell you what I know about it ...
Kennel cough is a common contagious respiratory disease of canines. This disease is usually associated with recently having been in kennels or having been where dogs congregate, but dogs living on their own can sometimes catch it as well as it is an airborne disease.
This is a disease which vets will see quite a lot, we often have to explain the symptoms to clients :
1. Most owners whose dog has kennel cough think there might be something stuck in the throat due to the strange cough / retch that these dogs have - a bit like a seal honk!
2. The dog may sneeze a little but the cough is the main symptom, some dogs are quite bright and alert but others can be lethargic during the course of this disease and runny eyes
are a possible symptom as well.
3. The dog will cough and retch for a few minutes and in the end it will be productive, she will bring up some white sputum, some owners take this for vomit. Onces she has done this he will settle down for a bit. This however is a repeated cough / retch which just keep happening.
4. It is normally not a serious disease but will run its course given one to two weeks without treatment, however antibiotics will speed up recovery and make your dog feel better very quickly.
Here is a link for more information on this disease : LINK
My advice to you is to have the vet check Darby over sooner rather than later, you see there is not really much you can do on a home treatment basis if this is kennel cough that you are dealing with and as I said there are other less likely but potentially more serious possibilities other than kennel cough.
If I have not answered your question fully enough or if you would like to ask more I will be on line for the next hour or so and I will be pleased to discuss your question further.
Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS