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A cold and cough. French dog about 20 lbs. Maggie mae about…

Customer Question
A cold and cough ...

A cold and cough

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?

French bull dog about 20 lbs

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the bull's name and age?

Maggie mae about 7 months

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 59 minutes by:
11/21/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,165
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 5 months ago

I'm sorry to hear that your French Bulldog puppy Maggie Mae has a cough and is congested and I understand that you are concerned about her.

A cough simply means she is experiencing airway irritation.

A cough can be related to heart disease, including heartworm, lung disease secondary to a viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection or tracheal irritation due to a bacterial, viral or fungal infection.

In a young dog infectious disease is by far the most common cause. Of those kennel cough or infectious tracheobronchitis is one of the most common causes. If she was exposed to other dogs in any way (groomer, boarding facility, training, puppy daycare or dog park, walks in the neighborhood) then an infectious cause (kennel cough) would be high on my list of possible problems.

Even if she has been vaccinated we cannot vaccinate against all of the agents that cause kennel cough and some dogs will still get sick even with the vaccine. The good news is that dogs that are vaccinated usually don't get as sick as dogs that haven't been vaccinated.

As long as she is still able to eat and drinking well, isn't lethargic, isn't running a fever (rectal temperature greater than 103F), and she doesn't have a green or yellow nasal or eye discharge then you can try taking a watch and see approach and using an over the counter cough suppressant if her cough is bad enough she cannot rest.

Make sure she gets plenty of fluids, lots of rest as the more active she is then more she will cough, and eats well. Add warm water or low salt chicken broth to her food. The better hydrated she is the better she will feel and the thinner her respiratory secretions will be.

You can take her into the bathroom with you when you take a hot bath or shower so she can breathe the steam which is soothing to her airways and thins mucous, making it easier for her to breathe. You can also use a humidifier in the room she sleeps in.

If her nose is very congested and blocked with mucous you can use sterile saline nose drops to soften the thin the mucous and use a baby nasal aspirator to remove the mucous.

If this is kennel cough her cough should slowly resolve over the next 2 to 3 weeks. Most of the time these dogs feel pretty well so it's a matter of keeping them quiet and suppressing the cough if we can.

If the cough is very bad you can use human cough/cold medications with Guaifenesin (an expectorant) and Dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) only such as Benylin or Robitussin DM can help. Give 1 teaspoon per 20 to 25 pounds every 6 to 8 hours.

If she is running a fever this is almost certainly a contagious infection and if she is running a fever and is lethargic then an examination is definitely warranted as pneumonia may have developed.

Rarely this can be a sign of canine influenza, but those dogs tend to be much sicker with a very high fever and severe lethargy. If she suddenly gets much worse and has a high fever she should see her veterinarian. Aggressive supportive care can save her life with a bad influenza infection. Make sure to let them know her symptoms when you are bringing her in as she should be quarantined.

You do want to keep her away from dog parks, the groomer, doggie daycares, and neighbor dogs, and ideally she should not be walked so she doesn't spread this.

Best of luck with your girl, please let me know if you have any further questions.

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