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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20745
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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Hi My boxer dog (18 months old) has suddenly developed this

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Hi My boxer dog (18 months old) has suddenly developed this raspy cough. she sounds like a cat when it has a furball. She gags and brings up a small amount of white foam sometimes. We think it may only happen when she runs. This has just started about 5 hours ago. Do you have any suggestions? or does she need some antibiotics. She does have a little bit of a runny nose. She has had meningitis since she was 6 months and was on prednisone but has stopped her course now.

Hello and welcome.

This is not an information request, but just a short message to introduce myself.

Unfortunately the expert you requested is not about at present but I know you will be wanting a quick answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon, I will be very pleased to work with you today if that is OK with you and will try my best to answer your question to your satisfaction.

Please give me ten minutes or so to think through your particular problem, prepare an answer, and then type things up. I will then get back to you and we can then talk things over.



Hello again Sharon and thanks for waiting.

Sorry to hear about Shaka's problem. However I have worked out an answer for you, please read it through and see what you think ...

Where these sort of symptoms are sudden onset in a dog of this age group then I would not be at all surprised if Shaka has not contracted an infectious respiratory disease such as kennel cough. However where a dog is retching like that other diagnosis are certainly possible but from your description it does sound very like kennel cough.

As kennel cough would be a front runner I will tell you a little about 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, { Like the vet's surgery for example! } 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, meaning she will bring up some white frothy sputum, sometimes owners take this for vomit. Onces she has done this she 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 her feel better very quickly. For this reason my advice would be to have your vet check Shaka over at the next opportunity and of course this is a wise move as other diagnosis are possible. Unfortunately there is little you can do to make her more comfortable on a home remedy basis.

5. There are effective vaccines against some forms of this disease but because there are a number of other forms vaccinated dogs can still contract this disease.

Here is a link for more information on this disease : LINK

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much.

No problem, very glad to have advised you ...


Dr Scott Nimmo and 4 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again Sharon,

Just a short note to thank you very much for the good rating, this is very much appreciated. I will get back in touch with you in a couple of days to check on Shaka's progress.
However in the meantime if you should receive any surveys related to my advice to you today then I would very much appreciate it if you could take the time to rate my performance further as this helps my standing on the site.

Kindest regards,


If I can ever advise you again at any future point then you can contact me directly via this link :
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Hello again Sharon,

I am just getting back in touch to see how Shaka is getting on.

How are things going at present?