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Old 05-14-2013, 06:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kennel cough?

We recently had to pick our 11 month gsd home from her board and train because she developed kennel cough. They said she'll only have to stay home for about a week and basically told us she'd act completely normal, she just had to be isolated. They gave us antibiotics and vitamin C pills, but I'm worried about her appetite. She didn't eat her dinner last night and hasn't eaten all day. We've offered her all kinds of foods but she refuses to eat. We hide her pills in food but since she won't eat, we can't get her to take her pills. She's been very lethargic and the exact opposite of her normal self. She doesn't want to go outside, and in the house she just stands still like a horse for a long time, she just has a blank face. What would you recommend I do for her appetite? And is there anything else I should know about keeping her comfortable and healthy? Thanks


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Old 05-14-2013, 06:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Google and check the side effects of the medication/antibiotic. See if your dog will have some chicken broth.

You can always call the Vet too.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Did a vet actually prescribe these antibiotics for the boarding place? How long has she already been on them? I find this situation a bit concerning. Here's why:

Lethargy and loss of appetite are very common with a bad case of kennel cough in dogs with compromised immune systems I see from the shelter. However, those symptoms are less common in a healthy pet dog though (a healthy pet dog usually fights off KC much better than this).

In very sick shelter dogs, I see the loss of appetite and lethargy routinely set in with GSDs within a couple of days of onset of the first symptoms--it hits hard and fast in the shelter. When did her symptoms set in during boarding?

My worry with KC with a very sick dog is always that it has the potential to turn into pneumonia, which can require intensive care (round the clock) to come back from, as it's life threatening. My inclination would be to take her to the vet tomorrow AM to be sure this hasn't turned into pneumonia (warn them you are bringing an infectious dog, though, as they may have you come in through a side entrance to avoid spreading the KC in the lobby).

My experience working with kennel cough in shelter GSDs is that they don't bounce back without antibiotics once they get lethargic and anorexic -- but they bounce nicely in 3-5 days with the right antibiotic (Doxycycline is what I'm always told is the drug of choice for an upper respiratory infection here). I'm glad you've already got antibiotics on hand for your girl.

Lots of things to think about here:

1. Keep her warm, in the house (not outside or in a garage). If you have an essential oil diffuser, put eucalyptus in it. If not, use a vaporizor and put it in well (or use Vicks inhalant in the vaporizor well, just like with a sick child).

2. Is she drinking water? That worries me way more than loss of appetite. If she's not drinking, she may need to be given fluids (again, vet trip -- no later than tomorrow AM). The dogs often feel a lot better after a liter of fluids, and then the appetite comes back a little.

3. If she's lethargic and not eating, you've still got to get the antibiotics down her. However, Doxy on an empty stomach seems to make them feel yucky.

Food already isn't interesting due to the mucous, so you will need some super-high-value yummies to tempt her to eat -- cooked chicken liver, Natural Balance log, canned food, whatever her favorites are that will tempt her to get a little food in her tummy will help.

I've sat in a shelter with a tray of "Cesar" brand food for tiny dogs (junky but appealing), spoon-feeding a sick GSD who was like this because it was the only thing that dog was interested in eating. I don't stand on principle with a dog like this-- I need to find something to put in their tummy so the Doxy isn't on an empty stomach.

Also, worst case scenario, there's a technique we've used with a few fosters of gently placing it in the very back of the mouth and holding the mouth shut for a second or two (the dog almost always swallows right away), but have someone who knows how to do it (vet tech, for example) show you how to do it so you aren't struggling with your dog, and you have to really trust the dog. I really don't like doing this though because of the way the antibiotic hits the empty stomach.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Update: we just took her to the vet and he confirmed she doesn't have kennel cough. She has a high fever of 106. The vet took some blood tests and we will return tomorrow to see the results. Fortunately he said we caught it early and he guessed its just a really tough bacterial infection. We were given intense antibiotics for the fever, but the vet seemed to think she'd be okay! We'll return to the vet tomorrow.


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Old 05-14-2013, 08:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophiamve View Post
We recently had to pick our 11 month gsd home from her board and train because she developed kennel cough. They said she'll only have to stay home for about a week and basically told us she'd act completely normal, she just had to be isolated. They gave us antibiotics and vitamin C pills, but I'm worried about her appetite. She didn't eat her dinner last night and hasn't eaten all day. We've offered her all kinds of foods but she refuses to eat. We hide her pills in food but since she won't eat, we can't get her to take her pills. She's been very lethargic and the exact opposite of her normal self. She doesn't want to go outside, and in the house she just stands still like a horse for a long time, she just has a blank face. What would you recommend I do for her appetite? And is there anything else I should know about keeping her comfortable and healthy? Thanks


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I presently have two with kennel cough. I rescued a dog from the shelter and he gave it to my other GSD. He was at the end of it and I only heard him cough a couple times. My other GSD coughed for about a day and I brought her in. They gave her clavamox on Saturday and I haven't heard her cough today. They did tell me not to give her Vitamin C and they also said if it got real bad I could give them cough medicine. Neither dog has showed any signs of slowing down or not eating/drinking.
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