Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Kennel Cough or Canine Influenza
Well, Roo has finally gotten past the majority of her noise anxiety (she still tries to rush past or avoid busy intersections and is not a fan of loud firecracker- type noises). We had been going back to the dog park for about two weeks, doing amazingly well, even surviving a couple of firecracker blasts one night last week. But sadly, we are once again avoiding the dog park. Saturday evening after returning home from her hour long retrieving session, I noticed she had started to cough. She occasionally coughs after drinking water, she drinks too fast and then chokes on it. But this was different. By Sunday morning the cough was getting worse, so we decided not to go to the Race For the Rescues at the Pasadena Rose Bowl- one of my favorite annual events. The cough was getting worse and worse, she was bringing up foamy liquid all day, in greater and greater quantities. Her energy was still good, she was just very confused by the cough. Sunday night, she kept trying to roll onto her back, a position she loves to sleep in, but every time it would ignite a 5 minute session of hacking. She didn't sleep very well Sunday night....neither did I.
I've been through kennel cough before with several foster dogs, and I know in many cases they can just let it run its course, especially if they have been vaccinated (which functions like the human flu vaccine- it can't stop all strains of the virus, but often lessens the intensity). But the cough was so painful to hear, and I discovered on Monday morning that every time she had hacked overnight she had brought up small amounts of her Sunday evening dinner, that I thought it was best to pay a visit to the vet in case she had something more serious going on.
My vet, the wonderful Dr. Sunada at North Hollywood Animal Care Center, explained to me that in some cases dogs cough so hard they actually engage the gag reflex and bring up a little bit of food water. Roo's symptoms were suggesting Kennel Cough, HOWEVER, Canine Influenza often starts off like kennel cough, but then can progress after several days. Dogs with influenza will become lethargic and lose their appetite, on top of the coughing fits, which can then lead to pneumonia. These symptoms can take several days to show up, so we're keeping a watch on Roo, and in the meantime she is on meds. The cough suppressant and antibiotics seems to be doing the trick. Her cough is not as severe, and is only exacerbated by excitement/pulling on her leash. Roo still has all the energy of your average two year old whippet pit mix and doesn't understand why we aren't going to the park or the Zoom Room. In short, she is driving me nuts! :)
Her big brother has not developed any symptoms, but to be safe, I spent the day on Monday washing and disinfecting all toys, bedding, bowls....anything the dogs touch. Going forward we will be more careful about bringing in our own bowls and water to the dog park and finding a way to keep Miss Roo out of the mud pits it would be nice if we could just get rid of the mud pits, but I realize I am asking for a lot there.)