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Only coughs in the morning, is it kennel cough?

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Only coughs in the morning, is it kennel cough?
  • About 3 weeks ago Jeter (5mos old) started waking up in the morning with a cough.  The kind when it sounds like they're gagging and about to have something "come up".  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).  It never dawned on me that he'd pick it up outside at the dog park.  Anyway, this cough only happens in the morning when he first wakes up...I take him out to pee.  He goes back to bed for an hour or so and no more coughing.  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.  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!).  But then I noticed this increased need to drink.  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.  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!!  Then once during the day he pee'd in it before we got home at lunch to let him out.  So I called the vet to find out if this was a symptom of the kennel cough or a side effect of the meds.  They claimed it was the shot and it could take 3 weeks for it to subside.  It's been 2 1/2 weeks and yes, the thirsting has finally let up some!  But he finished his meds last week and now the past two mornings the cough is back!!!!!  I'm wondering...was it kennel cough? or was the cough suppressent just covering up something else?  Is it common for dogs with kennel cough to only cough in the morning for a little bit?  Oh and this morning on our walk...he was pulling somewhat and his congestion sounded horrible.  He's seems fine now.  Our other dog,  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.

  • Well, to kind of answer your question - kennel cough dogs cough all day long. My foster is starting to show signs of a URI, so we started him on doxycycline yesterday.

    Pulling on the leash can do damage to the trechea. Not sure what kind of dog you have, but I would get a harness on him to get the pressure off his neck.

    Try offering a bit more water in his food. For my dog(s) I do mostly kibble, with a spoonful of wet, all mixed together with some warm water. I don't do this to soften the kibble, I just don't think my dog drinks enough at night (he eats before bed).

    I would, personally, get a second opinion from another vet. Find out what is really going on. And don't feel bad about the vaccine - dogs can get kennel cough even if they have been vaccinated, nothing is 100%.

  • Yeah, what Erica said.  Don't think vaccinating against kennel cough *prevents* it.  It doesn't.  Just like with a human flu vaccine -- it completely depends on what strains are used in the vaccine, how the body deals with it and what strains the dog is exposed to.  It may help any kennel cough the dog *does* get to be 'less' bad ... or it may not help at all ... or it may actually provide immunity.

    Coughing in the morning means there is congestion settling in the chest or lungs during rest -- either from sinus or lung congestion.  Could have many originations -- needs vet intervention.  The fact that it's in the morning likely simply means there's not a lot of it, but it does settle during inactivity.  It's more a quantity thing than a "this or that" thing.

    In other words there IS some sort of congestion there during the day but activity is making it so you don't *notice* when the dog gets rid of it.

    The increased need to drink is a result of the antibiotic -- and some antibiotics can actually *cause* a urinary tract infection.  It's almost like a bad side effect or intolerance of that drug thing. 

    But for sure, if the dog is taking a double antibiotic then if it were ME I'd be giving a probiotic to help the body cope with the antibiotic.  Ask your vet for Forti-flora -- it's available right thru the vet and is a darned good, easy probiotic to give.  Just don't give the probiotic at the same time you give the anti-biotic.  or the antibiotic will kill the propbiotic before it can do any good.

  • Ummm...I'm supposed to get Jeter the kennel cough vaccination this Weds, I thought it would have run it's course by now (3 weeks since our last trip to the vet) We are planning to board the dogs at the vet's kennel beginning Sept 26 for a week.  I was told the vaccination is useless when they have kennel cough.  So, what are your opinions?  Does he truly have it and will the vaccine not work, therefore risking exposure to the other dogs?  I'm guessing if I tell the vet he is still coughing then he won't do the vaccination and then I don't have any boarding options...and I wouldn't want to expose the other dogs if that's the case.  Hmmm...I'm not sure what to do at this point.  Are there actual test for kennel cough?  The vet I normally see is very good and I trust him completely but I couldn't get an appt with him the last time and I had to see his brother who mostly treats farm animals.  He just pushed on his throat to make him cough...and listened to me explain the symptoms which was just that he coughs in the morning and I mentioned I thought he might have picked up kennel cough at the dog park.  Weds we see our regular vet so do I mention he's started coughing again or just get the vaccination and hope the "respiratory" problem clears up by the 26th?

  • Only healthy animals can recieve vaccines - just like people. So yes - mention to your vet that he is still coughing. He may want to do chest x-rays to make sure that there is not a fluid build up in the lungs.

    If the vet deams him healthy - there is no reason why he can't have the vaccine. My dog is vaccinated against it - and I never board him. I chose to do so because of all the animals I bring home due to work, and all the places he goes with me. Your vet wont board the dog without the vaccine - in most cases.

    There is no 'test' for kennel cough - it's just a doggy cold, like it people. Farm animals are much different than domestic animals - so hopefully your regular vet will have some better ideas.

  • While it could be kennel cough and/or develop into kennel cough, is there any chance its something from his sleeping area thats affecting him?Something as minor as a draft could make him congested a bit in the mornings...


  • Well, now that you mention the sleeping area.  Jeter's is next to the A/C vent but I thought he wasn't getting a draft from it because of the kind of crate he is in.  It's one of those platic, Pet Porter types.  Only small grate like opening on each side and the door.  Plus I have a folded bed comfoter in it for him to sleep on.  Maybe the sides of the plastic crate are getting pretty cold and he might be resting against it.  Maybe we'll have to do a total reconfiguration of the bedroom to get his crate re-located.  Snickers crate is the big wire kind so I've always kept his away from any drafts.

  • maybe he needs his blankie washed? There could be something in it making him all stuffy. I know I have to wash all my bedding at least once a week - or my allergies get really bad.

  • Since its only in the mornings, I'm inclined to believe an allergen or draft of some sort.

  • I closed the vent that was next to the crate and every morning the cough seems less...the past two mornings I can't recall any coughing at all.  Thanks all!

  • I'm glad he's better!!