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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17967
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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I had my 18 month old cavalier spaniel vaccinated against kennel

Customer Question

I had my 18 month old cavalier spaniel vaccinated against kennel cough last week and since then she has been suffering from a rough sounding cough whenever she is excited or exercising. The cough is the same sound as my 3 yorkies make - usually in the morning. This is apparently caused by a trachea problem. They have all been checked out by my vet. Do you think this cough may be caused by the vaccine or are spaniels also prone to these trachea problems?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 3 years ago.
Hi Gill,

Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 12 years. Thank you for your question about Indie. Despite this rough sounding cough when she is excited, is she otherwise acting normal as far as eating and drinking? Any nasal discharge present?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No nasal discharge and she is otherwise just as normal.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She is sneezing a lot though.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for that information. I wouldn't say that spaniels in general are prone to having collapsing tracheas. They just aren't the breed that is notorious for it. Also, a collapsing trachea situation shouldn't just pop up after a veterinary visit like this when there was no issue with coughing prior to that visit. As far as this vaccine causing the cough? Some vaccines placed in the nostrils are modified live (meaning the agents are not killed) and they can cause very, very mild forms of kennel cough. Or the other possibility is that at the vet's office, she was exposed to kennel cough at the time of the vaccine as prevention isn't instantaneous. In this situation, as long as she's otherwise normal and not having discharge, I would consider giving her a few days to a week or more to see how she does. There is a very good chance that with some time, her body will get over this as I'm suspicious of a mild tracheal bronchitis situation. You can video what she's doing at home so your vet can view it if you end up going in if she's not kicking this in that week or so.
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Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the kind accept Gill. I hope that Indie is back to her normal self here soon! Let me know if any future questions come up!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you - I will
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Dr Bruce - I took Indie to the vet and she was put on anti biotics and some powder to dissolve the mucus. The attacks of coughing have lessened in number but increased in severity. Do you think I should return to the vet? I've already taken her twice - they said her chest was clearer but I'm still concerned because she's just had a really bad attack where she struggled to breathe.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the update Gil. Despite this really bad attack, is she still able to be comfortable? Is she still eating and drinking well? After this attack, has she been able to play and act pretty normal?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
yes she seems otherwise fine
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 3 years ago.
That is good that they said her chest was clearer and that she otherwise is fine. This single attack may have been just a short bout of significant irritation that set it off. Overall she seems to be improving, so it would be very reasonable to continue the current meds, finish them off as directed and recheck the day of finishing to see if they want to continue it longer. I've seen cases of kennel cough get some tracheal irritation from dust being inhaled, dry air, or breathing harder during play setting off a coughing fit. If she continues to do well otherwise, waiting till the end of therapy for a recheck would seem reasonable.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. Its very scary when she has these episodes - I'll do as you say.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 3 years ago.
I know how scary it can be. It is never easy to see your little one struggle like that. Another thing that may be helpful is if she has any further of these events to try and video them so your vet has a chance to see what you're seeing.