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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9119
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
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My doodle is coughing and is nursing 3 week old puppies...what

Customer Question

My doodle is coughing and is nursing 3 week old puppies...what should I do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.
I recently came online and see that your question about Bailey hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.
While I can't entirely know for sure why she's coughing, the most common cause in a dog this age will be Kennel Cough or Tracheobronchitis. These infections are either secondary to a virus or a bacteria; if the latter then antibiotics (and there are some safe to use for nursing moms) should resolve the problem fairly quickly but if the former, then it will have to run its course before improvement is seen.
The problem is that it's very difficult to distinguish between the two underlying causes unless a trial course of antibiotics is started and response is present...or not.
Most cases of kennel cough will resolve within 10-14 days with very few of them progressing to anything more serious like pneumonia.
I wouldn't necessarily suggest that she be given over teh counter cough medication since I want any secretions to be expelled from her trachea but one safe one would be Dextromethorphan http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/dextromethorphan-robitussin-dm/page1.aspx
The dose would be 0.25 to 1 mg/lb 2-3 times a day. You just want to double check labels and ensure that the formulations only contain this ingredient although inclusion of Guaifensin is fine.
You can also place a humidifier near her which can help to moisten the hair although if you live in a very humid climate, this may not be necessary.
2. Ingestion of objects such as sticks or rawhide, grass, or anything that could cause damage to the back of the throat when ingested. If this is the problem, then it should resolve pretty quickly…usually within just a few days. I recommend a diet of soft or moistened food (avoid dry kibble) so that further damage/irritation is avoided.
3. There are other possible causes for coughing in a dog such as heart disease or bronchitis but she seems young for such issues. If she worsens, though, then I'd want to rule out pneumonia or Canine Flu.
I hope this helps although, again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hi Kerry,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Bailey. How is everything going?

Dr. Deb