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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16923
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian
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My dog has been coughing a lot, has a runny nose an discharge

Customer Question

My dog has been coughing a lot, has a runny nose an discharge from his eyes. He is now vomiting like a foam like mucus and has a poor appetite. What do you think this could be?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.I'm sorry to hear that your fellow has a cough and I understand that you are concerned about him.A cough simply means he 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 dogs with a runny nose and eye discharge too infectious disease is by far the most common cause. Of those kennel cough or infectious tracheobronchitis is one of the most common causes. Some dogs cough enough that they may vomit a little mucous, that sounds like that is happening with him. I'm not surprised his appetite is off too with as poorly as he feels.Even if he 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.With a cough caused by a contagious infection as long as he is still able to eat and drink well, isn't lethargic, isn't running a fever (rectal temperature greater than 103F), and he 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. In his case he sounds much sicker, given his poor appetite, vomiting mucous and eye and nose discharge. I would encourage a veterinary visit now. Unfortunately we are seeing canine influenza cases in high numbers, especially in the midwest, and that can develop into pneumonia which often needs supportive, in hospital treatment.In the meantime make sure he gets plenty of fluids, lots of rest as the more active he is then more she will cough, and eats well. Add warm water or low salt chicken broth to his food. The better hydrated he is the better he will feel and the thinner his respiratory secretions will be. To stimulate his appetite offer a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken) and 2/3 boiled white rice. Give small meals several times a day. Feed the bland diet for several days until he eats well, then start mixing in his regular diet and slowly convert him back. You can take him into the bathroom with you when you take a hot bath or shower so he can breathe the steam which is soothing to his airways and thins mucous, making it easier for him to breathe. You can also use a humidifier in the room he sleeps in.His cough should slowly resolve over the next 2 to 3 weeks. If he only vomits after coughing you can use human cough/cold medications with Guaifenesin (an expectorant) and Dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) only such as Benylin or Robitussin DM to help. Give 1 teaspoon per 20 to 25 pounds every 6 to 8 hours. If he is running a fever this is almost certainly a contagious infection and if he is running a fever and is lethargic then an examination is definitely warranted as pneumonia may have developed.Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara