On Tuesday evening, when I was pet-sitting for a friend and Penny was helping me, she started coughing up froth all over my friend's loungeroom and kitchen. Quite dramatic, actually. I decided to take her off immediately to the after-hours clinic near my friend's house - humungously expensive, but worth the peace of mind.
(I did stop to disinfect the house as much as I could before we went, by the way, and my friend was philosophical when she returned, given that kennel cough is passed by an airborne virus and no amount of cleaning the floor was going to do much good.)
Having relieved my mind of the fear that Penny might have a cooked chicken bone stuck in her oesophagus - oh, why didn't we ever successfully train her not to scoff everything she sees in the street? - the vet told me she was ninety percent sure Penny had kennel cough. Okay, not so bad...
We were given a BIG bottle of prescription cough linctus and told to give it two to three times a day for a while. I asked what the point was, given that kennel cough is a virus and basically has to run its course, and the vet said the cough linctus eases coughing and prevents secondary infections developing as a result of damage from constant coughing. (I think that's what she said.)
I was surprised at how easy it is to administer the cough syrup. I just sit behind Penny, hold my hand over her muzzle and lift the corner of her upper lip, revealing a conveninetly placed gap behind her big tooth, and squeeze the stuff in. Penny is a saint of a dog, fortunately, and only squirms around a little. I was proud of her at the vet's where she had to suffer a thermometer up the backside, a lung check with the stethoscope and squeezing of her throat. (As I posted last time she had kennel cough, if you press lightly on the dog's throat just under the jaw and above the collar, she will cough immediately if she has this virus.)
Surprisingly, she didn't cough when the vet did that, but seeing she was spluttering froth around the vet clinic floor, I guess it wasn't necessary to see her cough right then.
Here she is the next day, all tuckered out, and perhaps a bit sleepy from the cough medicine.
The vet was insistent that we do other dogs a favor and stay on our own property for two weeks. Two weeks!!
However, I think it would be two weeks from the time she first showed symptoms - I'll have to check that - and if we hadn't been so silly we would have kept her away from other dogs as soon as we noticed her sneezing and coughing.