Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My puppy (4 months and 8 days old) occasionally makes this dry, harsh “CACK!” sounding cough. I think she did it once in awhile last month, but she's been doing it multiple times a day every day for almost two weeks now. I started keeping a log. There's little rhyme or reason to when she does it. Sometimes when playing, sometimes after she drinks water after zoomies and runs back to the carpet, sometimes after sniffing around, sometimes just walking around doing nothing in particular.

I showed the video to my vet last week and he said mild tracho-broncitis. He said because she is only experiencing an occasional hack to just ride it out and not bother with antibiotics.

She eat, drinks, plays, runs around and goes on walks like usual. Normal energy level. The only thing is this CACK! sounding cough. Some days she does it only 1-2 times. Then days like today she's done it 7-8 times. It's never a repetitive cough or continuous, almost always just that single harsh CACK!

I don't fully understand how this is kennel cough because prior to this the last time she was in close contact with other dogs was April 12th, like a month ago.

Also this may be a coincidence but it seems these once-in-awhile CACKs turned into a daily (and multiple times daily at that) thing like 2-3 days after she received her first intranasal bordatella vaccine. But if these are vaccine side effects, shouldnt they have stopped by now? She got her intranasal 5/1 and 5/4 this started becoming a multiple-times-a-day cough. She also did a reverse sneeze for the first time ever last week, a few days after getting the vaccine.

Here's an example of her doing it. Usually it's just the single CACK, this is the rare time it was two near each other:

I found one other example of someone saying that this is what kennel cough sounded like in their puppy too (but most sounds so different):

I'm concerned that this is lingering so I called the vet office and they told me to come in tomorrow to pick up Doxycycline and start her on that. I rubbed her throat and she let up a little cough. Can someone ease my mind and tell me this is just an upper respiratory thing and not tracheal collapse? She is only 4ish months. My vet said to not worry about that and that cough is not indicative of that. I just want my baby to be okay, I love her so much.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,930 Posts
Unfortunately it's against the forum rules to guess at diagnoses - it's too easy for someone to misidentify medical problems or give well-meaning advice that turns out to be harmful - so we won't be able to tell you what this is likely to be.

That being said, I just want to clarify - has your vet actually examined her, or have they only seen the video? Prescribing antibiotics without a thorough examination seems crazy to me (although I am living in a country that's especially stingy about antibiotic use now, that might just be a cultural difference). I do know there's not exactly a kennel cough 'test', especially since it's a bit like a cold or flu in that there's many stains of kennel cough (which is why the vaccine isn't able to protect against all of them), but I'd want the vet to be confident that there's a bacterial infection before we started throwing antibiotics at it, personally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately it's against the forum rules to guess at diagnoses - it's too easy for someone to misidentify medical problems or give well-meaning advice that turns out to be harmful - so we won't be able to tell you what this is likely to be.

That being said, I just want to clarify - has your vet actually examined her, or have they only seen the video? Prescribing antibiotics without a thorough examination seems crazy to me (although I am living in a country that's especially stingy about antibiotic use now, that might just be a cultural difference). I do know there's not exactly a kennel cough 'test', especially since it's a bit like a cold or flu in that there's many stains of kennel cough (which is why the vaccine isn't able to protect against all of them), but I'd want the vet to be confident that there's a bacterial infection before we started throwing antibiotics at it, personally.
The one who prescribed antibiotics is the one i did a video call with and sent him the video. He never saw my dog in person. Initially he said "just a mild cough so im hesitant to prescribe antibiotics unless it gets worse" and he didnt. Then yesterday I called the vet office and said it hasn't gotten worse, but it hasn't gotten better and the frequency seems to be increasing too, so he then gave me antibiotics to pick up at their office today =/

Maybe when I go there today I should call ahead and ask if someone can see her first bc im leery of starting antibiotics without that? She had a physical and her 3rd round of shots +bordatella 5/1 and was normal then (though did make one quick CACK that morning before we left as well).

Is there something he could do to make sure it's bacterial?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,930 Posts
Yeah, I wouldn't be comfortable throwing medication at an unknown problem when there's been no in-person veterinary examination, personally. I'd be asking for an examination from your vet or seeking a second opinion from someone who will actually examine her before prescribing anything if I were in your shoes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I wouldn't be comfortable throwing medication at an unknown problem when there's been no in-person veterinary examination, personally. I'd be asking for an examination from your vet or seeking a second opinion from someone who will actually examine her before prescribing anything if I were in your shoes.
Okay, I'll call them this morning and ask if someone can see her today before we start on the meds
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update: the guy who prescribed her the meds is seeing her 10am monday. I'm gonna pick them up today and probably hold off on them for two days until he physically sees her
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another update: Back from the vet. Same practice, but third vet I've seen there. She reviewed my videos and listened to my concerns. She was able to make my puppy cough a little during neck palpation. She reiterated wha the other two vets at the practice said - that she is not even a little bit concerned over tracheal collapse due to her age and how her cough sounds. She took chest xrays anyway before i even asked bc she wanted to see whats goin on. Trachea was normal on xrays. She did see some bronchial airway inflammation. She said bc of her age she is not worried about this being a chronic thing. She prescribed doxy for 10 days. She also said to be mindful of environmental irritants like dust, scented candles, sprays etc. she said after the antibiotics she expects the CACK cough to resolve but to NOT be freaked out if every once in while if she coughs after drinking water or something since basically puppies are kind of dummies when it comes to drinking and eating sometimes. I will start her on meds today. Very pleased that her trachea is ok according to xray. Next hurdle is tricking my picky eater into eating this pill lol
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,930 Posts
I'm glad you got a more thorough work-up, and have real confirmation that it's probably a passing bacterial thing. I hope it clears up quickly! And yeah, my nine year old sometimes hacks after inhaling a treat too fast, so they can be dumb about things like that sometimes (then again, I've been known to get water down the wrong tube myself so maybe I shouldn't talk). It's when coughing seems to be happening without reason that it gets worrying. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
So,
I apologize for having a late response. I have an Australian Shepherd that I got from my mother’s friend. (She passed away, and daughter couldn’t keep her). But she does the same thing almost. But hers seems to come from more active behavior (being outside running, playing fetch). When I took her to the vet, my vet ran every test under the sun because I felt like this isn’t normal, to find out for mine at least, it’s allergies. I live in FL and the heat and pollen just dries her out and so she coughs. So while we’re outside playing, this tends to happen more often. I’ve kind of learned when it’s about to happen, and to let her calm down and she doesn’t do it anymore. Also, she’s not to run or play within 15 minutes of drinking water because that can make it worse. I’m glad that you got your little one checked out, and I’m hoping that those meds clear it right up. Just wanted to share my little one’s story too. It’s always so scary when you hear a cough like that, especially when it’s not perceived as normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Bit of an update today. Puppy is now 5 months and 10 days old. Took her in for her final puppy vaccine (rabies) today and talked to the vet there. Even after the 10 day antibiotic course she still occasionally makes that hack cough a few times a day. Sometimes it’s only once or twice a day, sometimes 3-5 times. Vet (different one again, same practice though) did a full physical exam again before her shot and listened to my concerns. She said (after i expressed concern about it being trachea related again) while it’s technically possible she couldve been born with a weak trachea even though it looked fine on the x-ray last month (bc apparently x-rays cant for sure rule it out), she said that at her age it is far more likely that she has allergies/irritation/inflammation (she did after all show a bronchial pattern on the x-ray which indicates inflammation). She also said she wasnt able to get her to cough this time when touching her throat unlike last month, which could indicate that her potential inflammation/irritation is getting better. She does not believe she has an infection or needs more antibiotics.

She said if she was coughing up a storm and it was affecting the quality of her day she might suggest to refer me to a specialist who can do some crazy procedure to 100% rule out or confirm tracheal collapse. She thinks there is no need for that now. She said before she would even do that she’d want me to give her a bit of zyrtec or an antihistamine to see if that ends the couple daily hacks (which would imply it’s allergies/irritants). I asked should i do that then and she said frankly she doesnt even recommend that at this stage since it’s just a cough here and there. Basically she said if she starts coughing a lot/it starts impacting her day then call back and she will move onto the first stage she recconmended (antihistamine). Other than that pretty much said enjoy her and dont dwell on it/worry.

so yeah, it sounds like while technically possible it could be the thing i was scared of, all the vets are leaning towards what the poster above me said: some type of environmental or seasonal allergies/irritation. To be fair she DOES sneeze now and then too. I purchased her a humidifier to sleep with to see if that helps a bit.

i hope i can look back at this post in 13-16 yrs and laugh at me being a nervous, overreacting first-time helicopter puppy parent when my dog is a happy senior who’s had a good quality of life
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top