why does my dog cough in the mornings

This question is a common one for vets all over the world. It can sound as if a foreign body is stuck in the dog s throat, but this is very rarely the cause ofPa cough. By far the most likely cause of a dog coughing is a highly infectious, upper respiratory disease, commonly known as kennel cough. It also sounds like whooping cough in children and in fact, one of the organisms causing this syndrome is related to the pertussis bug (whooping cough organism) that can affect kids. The disease causes severe inflammation of the upper airways, especially the windpipe or trachea. So painful is the dog s throat that every time cold air hits this region, the dog will react to the irritation by coughing and sometimes bringing up white phlegm. People notice the dog coughing during cold nights or first thing in the morning. Two organisms are involved in causing kennel cough. The first bug is a virus call parainfluenza. The second nasty is a bacteria-like organism calledP
Bordetella bronchisepta. P They can either act individually to bring about symptoms, or in worse cases they attack the cells of the upper airways together.


Without treatment, the disease can last much longer and result in permanent damage to the trachea, leaving such bad scar tissue that the dog is continually short of breath and unable to run long distances. It is therefore wise to instigate treatment at the commencement of symptoms rather than waiting. Your vet will make a diagnosis of kennel cough or viral tracheal bronchitis based on the history and clinical signs. There is no specific symptom that allows a definite diagnosis, but because of the very inflammed upper respiratory tract, a cough can beP elicited by palpation of the wind pipe. Treatment in the initial stages involves keeping thePanimal warm especially during the evening and early morning. Broad spectrum antibiotics are prescribed and a good cough syrup eases inflammation of the throat. In severe cases, steam therapy is used to break up mucus. Vaccines are available for both the viral cause and thePbordetella organism.


Vaccination for this complex disease is compulsory for animals going into kennels and recommended for all dogs. P Just like human flu viruses, different types occur, so even vaccinated dogs develop symptoms of kennel cough. Generally dogs that have been vaccinated and still manage to contract kennel cough recover more quickly, and very rarely become severe cases resulting in pneumonia. In a household where a dog develops the symptoms of kennel cough, it is imperative that children, especially those under five are separated from the dog. During the early stages of the disease the dog will shed many virus particles which will become airborne. They can easily affect a child with a developing immune system. About 3 weeks ago Jeter (5mos old) started waking up in the morning with a cough. P The kind when it sounds like they're gagging and about to have something "come up". P I suspected he might have picked up kennel cough at the dog park. (dumb me, I didn't have him vaccinated for it because I wasn't going to be boarding him anytime soon and not ready to start an obedience class).


P It never dawned on me that he'd pick it up outside at the dog park. P Anyway, this cough only happens in the morning when he first wakes up. I take him out to pee. P He goes back to bed for an hour or so and no more coughing. P I took him to the vet after about three days of this and he got a "Dual-cillin" injection, and amoxacillin (sp? ), and some other pill for cough suppression. P The cough went away almost the next day or so but I still could hear congestion when I walked him and he'd pull on the leash (puppy-thing. we're working on not pulling! ). P But then I noticed this increased need to drink. P He was drinking constantly. he'd wake up in the middle of the night whining and I thought he had to pee but he'd go staight to the water bowl like he was dying of thirst. P With all this drinking, twice he awoke in the middle of the night and pee'd in his crate. never even whined to go out.


He woke up and went!! P Then once during the day he pee'd in it before we got home at lunch to let him out. P So I called the vet to find out if this wasPa symptom of the kennel cough or a side effect of the meds. P They claimed it was the shot and it could take 3 weeks for it to subside. P It's been 2 1/2 weeks and yes, the thirsting has finally let up some! P But he finished his meds last week and now the past two mornings the cough is back!!!!! P I'm wondering. was it kennel cough? or was the cough suppressent just covering up something else? P Is it common for dogs with kennel cough to only cough in the morning for a little bit? P Oh and this morning on our walk. he was pulling somewhat and his congestion sounded horrible. P He's seems fine now. P Our other dog,P Snickers (2 years old) was vaccinated against kennel cough because I took him to some training earlier in the year, is not suffering from any respiratory problems that I can see/hear.

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