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Hi, i`m Richard, a Veterinarian from the UK. Hopefully I can help today.
Is she bright in herself, eating well?
I`m afraid I am unable to offer a live phone call from the UK, but I am happy to continue here. if you would prefer, I can opt out and one of the other vets may be able to offer this service?
If you give me a moment to type my response
The signs you are describing sound typical of kennel cough. This is often a viral condition which can come on suddenly and dramatically. Owners often thing the dog has something stuck in their throat as they have these hacking, coughing fits.
If she is bright in herself, eating well then it is likely of no particular concern. What often causes significant issues in these cases are secondary bacterial infections, older dogs may be more prone to this.
In this situation, with her being an older girlie, it may be wise to have her checked over by your vet as she may benefit from antibiotics to help prevent secondary bacterial infections. It would also be wise to have her heart checked as the beginnings of heart problems in older dogs can present in a very similar way.
In a relatively healthy, fit dog, kennel cough itself should be self limiting and the signs should pass within a week or so, however with an older dog I always recommend getting them checked over, to make sure we are not missing anything.
Emergency vets fees do tend to be quite high. I cannot give you an exact price as I am in the uk, however you are likely to be charged $150-200 to be seen as an emergency. If you call your local ER i`m sure they will be able to give you an accurate idea of their fees.
Rimadyl may help reduce the inflammation in her airways and help if she has a sore throat. If it is just a case of kennel cough she should be fine, but I cannot be certain this is all that is going on without a clinical exam.