• Long post, but want to describe the course of her illness: Wondering if anyone else has experienced a cough in their B that just won't seem to go away. We are on week four now. She had picked up an eye infection at the dog park (not sure if that was related) a week and a half prior to these symptoms. Started off slowly with some minimal coughing on exertion and tiredness. We spoke to our doc and sent video, they felt strongly it was kennel cough. About a week in, the coughing increased and in the course of one day, she went from acting fine in the morning to being lethargic, refusing to eat, fever, worse cough and respirations in the low 60's in the late afternoon (it was hot that day and I think she was also dehydrated). We took her to the ER and by the time we were seen (there was a four hour wait) her fever came down and she had had quite an incredible recovery. Lungs were clear. Eating again, respirations and temp within normal limits. The next day, however she woke with a stuffy nose that she pretty quickly cleared. Cough was inconsistent over the next week. Week three, we thought she was done with it, but I went out of town and when I returned she was coughing on exertion again. That nights again with a fever, respirations in the 40s, not nearly as poorly as she had been the week prior. By morning, she was fine again, like she had fought something off with the fever. I had already made an appointment with the vet though, so I took her in at the end of week three. The cough was so seldom and not predictable that I could not get video and we could not recreate it in the office, though the vet said when she massaged the throat there was some sign that she was still irritated. Lungs were clear. She looks and acts healthy. She said there has been a new cough going around that dogs were really struggling to shake. I felt like we surely must be near the end (and the vet was not convinced it was bacterial) so I said no to antibiotics and instead went home with Marshmallow Root elixir to give her twice a day to decrease inflammation. We are a week since seeing the vet and she still has the occasional cough. Today more than the last few days, at 2:30 pm I have heard it twice. Once when pulling on the leash, and once when just lying on the cough sleeping on the back covered porch. This cough seems a slight bit wetter than the dry "kennel" sounding cough we originally had. But again, pretty infrequent. The doctor entertained the possibility of allergies, but with the two fever episodes I just don't know. She said we could do a Benadryl trial and see if it will go away. Any thoughts or ideas? I have put her on dog vitamin C and would welcome any more ideas to support her health and healing. I am a nurse and know what to do to support my human kids' health when they are sick, but I'm at a loss with this dog. Btw, she is only 18 months. Another reason I think she should not take this long to shake a cough! Thanks for any help.

  • -- note: I am not a Vet and this is not meant to be a diagnosis --

    My vote would be for the antibiotics. There seems to be an awful lot of 'Kennel Cough' going around in my neck of the woods. (SouthEast NC, USA)
    However, it could also be a 'Dog Flu'. I'm only suggesting that because both illnesses are contagious among popular dog spots (like the dog park).
    Not sure that antibiotics would cure a 'Dog Flu', but it would help your Vet eliminate the Bordetella and shift their focus to other possible causes.
    just my thoughts...

  • @elbrant I'm also in NC! And I know it must be true because we had the hardest time finding a vet ER two weeks ago when we needed one. All were at capacity. Four hours was the shortest wait we could find. What is frustrating is that we had literally just had her vaccinated for Bordetella a month before the eye infection ensued. Of course, that is about the time we took her to the dog park. I hate to think she is going to be getting sick from the dog park. She loves running with the big dogs so!

  • Has anyone in close contact with the dog had Covid? It isn't common, but dogs do get it and the symptoms are similar to what you describe.

  • @italeigha said in Cough not going away:

    I hate to think she is going to be getting sick from the dog park.

    I'm sure your pup will bounce back once your Vet determines exactly what it is. Don't give up on doggy playgrounds. Many of the members here don't like them, but socializing with other dogs is important (especially if your dog doesn't have a playmate at home).

  • @italeigha - Have you talked to her breeder? And Bordetella shots will only cover a few of the different strains of Kennel Cough... there are many, many strains. Different then @elbrant I would stay away from the dog parks. You have no clue were the dogs came from and if the owners even vaccinate their dogs.... so you have no clue what they may or may not have had. Also I assume that your Basenji is on heartworm? Has the Vet done a stool sample? Also has the Vet done a blood panel? You might want to try a Holistic Vet if there is one in your area.

  • She is on heart worm, but in the past year we have missed at least two doses. Not sure how detrimental that is.
    We live in a pretty highly educated area where you have to be a resident and member of the dog park to get in. If I remember right, the only required shot is rabies, but they do lock you out every year until you have given them the appropriate paperwork. We do go to a holistic vet, but the one we have seen the last two visits isn't the one that I see as the most holistic in the practice.
    Thanks for the advice on the stool/bloodwork. We have not looked at either and will do if we go back in. I intend to make an appointment to just take about how to support my dogs health. I didn't really anticipate the dog getting "sick" and certainly not for this long! I don't remember any childhood pets ever being sick, but they also did not socialize. That said, I do think Millie needs it. It is a dilemma. Maybe I find her a playgroup of dogs we know.

  • @italeigha - I always put it on my calendar when heart worm is due or I would miss it also.... you can have that tested with a blood workup just to make sure. Different in the area you are in as here in our area of No California heartworm is not a huge problem. But I still give it, especially when we travel. Also I only use meds that are for heartworm, NuHeart. You can order on line. And that is good that they require rabies, that is pretty normal, however you would never know what other bacteria they (other dogs) could be shedding and would be in the ground. Until you find out what is going on I would stay away from the dog park. For sure I would at least get blood panel done and for that matter a full thyroid panel which is a complete panel not just the basic from blood work. It is sent to a lab to do the full testing. Again, have you talked to the breeder? Might give you some ideas if a responsible breeder. Hoping that you get some information from the vet on what is going on...

  • @italeigha - But again, Bordetella only covers a few strains of kennel cough... there are MANY.... so after seeing this a course of antibiotics might be a way to go... but again I would stay away from the dog park for now...

  • @eeeefarm it feels like it has been all around us. We haven't had it in this house that we know of, but...

  • @tanza Right. I learned that at the ER, many strains. Made me feel like, why did we bother then. I am not anti-vaccine, but I think, in humans, and in the US, we over-vaccinate. I gave birth to two kids abroad in two different countries (lived in 3 over 6 years abroad) and vaccination schedules there are quite different, and gentler, there.
    The ER dog did say that he was telling all his patients to steer clear of kenneling and dog parks until we get through this uptick in respiratory virus.

  • @italeigha - Agree with your Vet's suggestion. I am not anti vaccine either, but you can overdue it if not needed, that is why I do titers (except rabies as required by law)

  • @italeigha said in Cough not going away:

    in the past year we have missed at least two doses

    Heartworms take 4-8 weeks to mature, so I normally administer heartworm every 6-8 weeks. If you missed a dose and took it as soon as you realized it.... your pup is probably safe.

  • So Tuesday, because the cough was still here intermittently and we are going out of town, we did the respiratory panel and blood draw (CBC and hematology). Rest panel was negative all the way across, (also negative for heart worms)and CBC/heme were within normal limits (creatinine slightly elevated) but abc were normal. BUT since tuesday (we started TemarilP which has a steroid in it) she got worse. Much worse. Coughing quite a bit and then lethargic and elevate respirations (40's) yesterday. Took her in and they heard barely audible crackles possibly so did a chest X-ray which was positive for lung disease, most likely pneumonia, which they said was early and new. (She did take an accidental dip face first off a float into a very clean lake July 4th weekend so it is possible that she aspirated then, though I do not remember her coughing after). So, I went home with two antibiotics. But, she would not take them no matter how I tried to give them to her. (This despite her taking the TemarilP fine and no issues when I have given vitamin C powder.) Of note, the doc said that the steroid in the TemarilP may have suppressed her immune system enough to kick her into a pneumonia that she had been fighting. That is exactly why I didn't give it the first time they suggested it as an option. Long story short, she would not take the antibiotics, but woke up nearly normal this morning. We have not heard a cough this morning so it is just like what has happened twice in the last 6 weeks except now we have some diagnostics pointing to pneumonia (but bloodwork not). Any thoughts or suggestions?

  • @italeigha - If she will not take the pills, then you may need to resort to forcing them down her. Are they big pills? What have you tried hiding them it? If you resort to forcing them, put her between your legs (to hold her) lift her head back towards you, open the mouth and push the pill as far back as you can... rub the throat till she swallows (holding the mouth closed). Once you get it down, give her a very, very yummy treat and praise. Yummy treat like steak, cheese, those kinds of things, not just store bought treats.

  • Pilling a reluctant dog isn't easy (although most vets can make it look that way), but nowhere near as hard IMO as pilling a cat! Agree with your method, Pat. Usually worked for me, although some of the little blighters can appear to have swallowed only to spit the pill as soon as you let go of the muzzle!

  • @eeeefarm said in Cough not going away:

    although some of the little blighters can appear to have swallowed only to spit the pill as soon as you let go of the muzzle!

    Which is why you need to stroke their throat to make them swallow although many will 'pouch' the pill and spit it out sideways. Holding the muzzle shut until they have obviously swallowed is essential.

    This is my method too - tried and (generally) true !

  • To give you an idea of the contrast between Basenjis and Border Collies, my BC once spit out a pill, I said "Blackie" in a disapproving tone, and he picked it up from the floor and swallowed it!

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