I rang the vet and the nurse told me that even if dogs are vaccinated against this disease, they can still get it; however, it should be a milder form. I decided to have a look around the Net to see what I could find out. One of the most interesting pieces of information was that there are video clips of dogs with kennel cough on YouTube. When we listened to this one, we thought it sounded similar to Penny’s cough.
Next I thought I would visit the Merck Veterinary Manual. It said:
Spasms of coughing are the outstanding sign. These are most severe after rest or a change of environment or at the beginning of exercise.This is exactly the situation in which Jabari’s mum noticed Penny coughing. It was as Penny rushed from the car to join Jabari in the park. We’ve also noticed that she coughs when she gets up after resting on her mat.
The Manual also said:
The acute stage of bronchitis passes in 2-3 days; the cough, however, may persist for 2-3 wk.I also found some relevant information at a site called all doctors. They said the name kennel cough is misleading as it can be caught at any gathering of dogs. It’s caused by a combination of a bacterium and a virus. Dogs with this disease often finish their coughing with gagging or retching and produce frothy phlegm. It can persist for several weeks and sneezing is common.
ThePetCenter.com says dogs will usually recover from this disease without treatment but a visit to the vet is recommended because a cough might be a symptom of another disease entirely. The cough sounds as if the dog needs to "clear its throat" and will be triggered by any extra activity or exercise. In many dogs the general state of health and alertness will be unaffected, and there might be no rise in temperature, or loss of appetite. The symptoms may last from 7 to 21 days but it’s rarely life threatening. It goes on to say that sometimes cough suppressants and occasionally antibiotics are prescribed.
It’s been a ‘medical’ week for Penny. Unfortunately, she became quite sick on Tuesday after I accidentally fed her treats that were too old. (I’ve learned a lesson!!) We rushed to the vet and he gave her a painkilling injection for her sore stomach and a penicillin injection in case of infection.
We’re going to wait a couple of days and see how she does before we go back to the vet. Perhaps the penicillin will help her with the cough. Today when we walked along our local creek she was full of energy and fun but she still occasionally coughed or sneezed.