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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12247
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My mid-size poodle mix, 8 yrs. old, started coughing after

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My mid-size poodle mix, 8 yrs. old, started coughing after walking through my neighbors yard. No further coughing that day. Next day coughed at same yard. Following day we avoided the yard and he started coughing in the night. Now he's spitting up white, foamy mucus, at least 5 times in the past hour. I thought it might be an allergy and bathed him this a.m. He was OK for a few hours but then started coughing and spitting up. It's a low deep cough as if he has something caught in his throat but he's had only his regular diet and is still active and eating and drinking.

Dr. Altman :

Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and happy to answer your questions today.

Dr. Altman :

So sorry to hear King is having these coughing episodes

Dr. Altman :

May I ask is he current on his bordatella vaccination?

Customer:

Yes, he is up to date.

Dr. Altman :

What you describe does sound like kennel cough...may I ask how long ago it was administered?

Customer:

He had a 1 year shot 3 months ago. He has recently been at a PetSmart Hotel for a 3-day stay.

Dr. Altman :

Is he resting now? Can you tell me what his resting respiratory rate is? This is how many breaths he takes in one moment time...

Customer:

The cough started 4 days after the kennel visit.

Dr. Altman :

Unfortunately the kennel cough vaccination, similar to the flu vaccination in people does not give 100% protection. So if exposed to a variant strain a dog can still get clinical signs of kennel cough but often less severe

Dr. Altman :

And it will show up within 10-14 days of a kennel visit...

Dr. Altman :

Since he is still active, eating, drinking well that does also go along with this diagnosis

Dr. Altman :

But when I have a dog that is productive (coughing up phlegm) such as King I do prefer to put them on antibiotics as a precaution

Customer:

I'm having difficulty counting the respirations, he keeps moving, but they are normal.

Dr. Altman :

Weed killer would have had to have been sprayed within an hour of your passing the home and he would have to be in close contact with the grass (chewing it or digging his nose in it) to have any clinical signs and it would be quite constant. I would have this lower on my differential list

Dr. Altman :

OK good

Dr. Altman :

Can you please tell me what color are his gums?

Dr. Altman :

And do you know if this boarding facility requires an influenza vaccine ? Has he had one of these as well

Customer:

gums are pink

Dr. Altman :

Great that is also a good sign

Dr. Altman :

CLICK HERE for more information on kennel cough if you would like to learn more

Customer:

I have an appointment with his vet tomorrow, just worried that I can wait that long.

Dr. Altman :

And they cannot get you in before that?

Dr. Altman :

Try taking him in the bathroom with the steam of the shower, that can really help soothe the lungs and suppress the cough. It might be why he wasn't coughing as much after the bath...

Customer:

Well, if I want to see his vet, he's not in until tomorrow. Surgery in a.m. then appt.

Dr. Altman :

Ah I see. And they are closed already today?

Customer:

No, I think I can get in. Just needing your suggestion as to immediacy

Dr. Altman :

If he is coughing that frequently and it is productive I would consider it

Dr. Altman :

But try the steam first for 15 minutes and see if that helps

Dr. Altman :

Also if you have a humidifier even better

Customer:

I do have a humidifier. You think kennel cough? I've heard of it, but never experienced it.

Dr. Altman :

Yes everything you describe points to kennel cough

Dr. Altman :

Still active and good appetite yet coughing that sounds like either a cat with a hairball or something stuck in the throat

Dr. Altman :

The fact that he has had the vaccination is a good sign, meaning it will run its course faster and to a less severe form

Customer:

Thanks so much. You've been very helpful. I appreciate your expertise.

Dr. Altman :

You are very welcome

Dr. Altman :

Can I assist with any additional questions today?

Customer:

Bye!

Dr. Altman :

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