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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19766
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My dog has a runny nose, a cough, and not a lot of energy.

Resolved Question:

My dog has a runny nose, a cough, and not a lot of energy. What could be cusing this and hat shold I do?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.
Hi Thespian,

It is possible your dog may have caught an upper respiratory illness such as kennel cough or possibly canine influenza. A heart condition such as heartworms can also cause a cough, which will need to be checked if your dog is not on heartworm preventative or an older dog. Kennel cough is normally contracted when a dog has been boarded or kenneled or around a large number of dogs such as at a dog show, dog park or pet store. Here is a website with more information on kennel cough.

Canine influenza is now becoming more prevalent and like it sounds it is a canine flu. Here is an excellent site on it.

You will want to monitor your dogs condition looking for colored discharge from the nose or eyes, a productive cough (coughs stuff up), stops eating or lethargy. These are signs of a possible bacterial infection as well and my require antibiotics. If your dog appears to be having a difficult time breathing, you will need to see your Vet as some dogs dog get really sick with canine influenza and need support to recover.

To help your dog breathe easier you can run a NON-medicated humidifier in the room your dog is in, or sit in a steamed up bathroom with your dog to help keep the mucous moving. Robitussin DM at a 1/4 teaspoon per 5 pounds can be used to control the cough. Dosages can be obtained at this website.

If your dog has not had all its vaccinations I urge you to have your dog seen as soon as possible.

The following site goes over canine coughs.

I hope you find this information helpful.
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I just adopted her from a shelter. Theygave me records stating she was given all her shots and was even checked by a vet while we were completing the paperwork. She started showing symptoms a few hours after we got her home. Cn kennel cough hit her so quickly? Why didn't the vet see it when they checked her?Could he fact that we currently have a negative 10 degree wind chill be causing any of this?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

Until the dog starts coughing and shows symptoms, a vet wouldn't know if a dog had kennel cough. And kennel cough is frequently seen in shelters and pounds. In many cases, dogs are not in the shelter long enough to develop the symptoms while there even though they actually contracted it there. The incubation period of kennel cough is 2-14 days. May shelters only keep animals for 3-7 days.

Now the adverse weather could have an affect on the dog if you were keeping her outside without proper shelter. Now an allergy might cause nasal congestion which in turn might cause some coughing.

Since your new dog is older, I'd give her some cough medication and monitor her condition. Your vet might prescribe an antibiotic to help prevent a secondary bacterial infection, but in many cases, dogs recover from kennel cough.
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