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Smokey had what we think was kennel cough, now she has

Smokey had what we...

Smokey had what we think was kennel cough, now she has muscle spasms and her teeth chatter. She is still eating and moves around but tires easy I got her from a dog rescue 2 weeks ago she is a female German Sheppard Huskey mix about 1 year old..

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the dog's name?

Smokey

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/26/2018
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,142
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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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
ok thank you

I am sorry to hear that your rescue Smokey had signs of a respiratory infection (thought to be kennel cough) and now has muscle spasms and teeth chattering, and seems to tire more easily.

I am concerned that she did not have kennel cough but rather has Canine Distemper.

Distemper is often a fatal disease in puppies, and the younger that they are infected the more devastating the disease process seems to be. Symptoms start with respiratory signs, a runny nose and eyes, cough, fever and lethargy and can progress to gastrointestinal signs including vomiting and diarrhea and then neurologic signs including tremors, muscle spasms (chorea) and in some cases grand mal seizures.

If they suffer from mild symptoms or even mild chorea (tremors) we may be able to nurse them through, but even then it is quite difficult.
If we start to see grand mal seizures then the prognosis becomes markedly more guarded, especially with multiple seizure episodes.
If you want to try to continue treatment this little one she may need to get started on anti-convulsant therapy, particularly if she has grand mal seizures. Multiple seizures leads to an elevated body temperature which will cause further permanent brain damage.
It may be helpful to prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories as well if she seems uncomfortable.

Smokey should see her veterinarian for some testing to confirm that she has Distemper. Please let them know her symptoms before you bring her in as this is a very contagious disease and they likely will not want her to expose other dogs, they will probably not have her in the waiting room or any common areas as if she has Distemper she is shedding the virus now. Shedding can occur for months once dogs show symptoms.

If you have other dogs and they are fully vaccinated they are unlikely to get sick, but young puppies and unvaccinated dogs are at risk.

She should not go to dog parks, be walked, go to doggie day care or a boarding kennel.

I know that this is tough to hear, and I hope that I am wrong, but her symptoms and history of being a rescue that likely was not properly vaccinated as a puppy and was likely exposed to many other dogs makes this much more likely. If she has Distemper the rescue should be notified as their other dogs were certainly exposed too.

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
Can it affect our cat?

Cats are usually immune to canine distemper. There have been some reports of cats getting respiratory symptoms after being exposed to canine distemper, but most of the time they do not get sick when exposed.

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If your kitty is very young or old, or has any sort of chronic disease process then I would not allow any contact between the two just to be safe.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
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