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PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4510
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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My 12 YO australian shepherd/rotweiler mix has been licking

Customer Question

My 12 YO australian shepherd/rotweiler mix has been licking her front paws a lot, has labored breathing, lethargy, loss of appetite, coughing, and appears to have lost a little weight.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: The coughing is not constant, and kind of sounds phlegmy. Yesterday was the first day she didn't eat. Coughing, licking paws has been for about a week, but not constant.
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Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

Thanks for your question. I'd like some additional information from you?

1) What state to you live in?
2) Has your dog been boarded, groomed or been to the dog park in the last 3 weeks?
3) Is your girl on heart worm prevention? If so, what kind and how often is it given?
4) Any other dogs in the household? Are they exhibiting similar signs?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
live in maryland
not boarded but yes, groomed in the last 3 weeks-month
yes, heart worm; monthly, got last dose it end of january 2015
yes, one other dog, no symptoms
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

Excellent news. So the first thing we're going to worry about in her case is kennel cough. Although she may be current on her kennel cough vaccine, dogs can still acquire this (nothing is 100% no matter how dedicated we are to their routine). I recommend contacting the place that performed the grooming and informing them that you're concerned that she has acquired kennel cough from their facility and will be taking her to a vet's office for an exam. In many cases, if your vet agrees that she has kennel cough and the time line fits, the grooming facility will cover the expense of treatment. This is why it's not only important to call, but you also want to give them a heads up that extra disinfecting measures may need to be taken and other dogs may well have been exposed aside from just her.

Kennel cough usually onsets 7-21 days after exposure. We typically hear a deep, honking, often productive cough along with lethargy, fever, increased desire to sleep (which seldom happens since they're coughing so much) and reduced desire to eat and drink (the worst cases involve a pet no longer eating or drinking at all). The treatment is usually pretty straight forward in placing the pet on antibiotics to prevent pneumonia, cough suppressant and/or expectorant. Many vets will switch to a smelly, high palatability food to keep them eating. The licking of her paws may be compulsive from the stress of the kennel cough or it may be something allergy-related. If it does not stop after treatment has been ended, I would work on finding an antihistamine that may work for her. See the following link: http://cheyennewest.com/antihistamines-for-dogs-cats/ If antihistamines don't work, progress into more advanced therapies like allergy medications on the market now such as Atopica or Apoquel.

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Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
PitRottMommy