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Ask Dr Scott Nimmo Your Own Question
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21555
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My dog is lethargic and struggling to bark. When postman comes

Customer Question

My dog is lethargic and struggling to bark. When postman comes he usually barks but instead is making a choke/ cough sound. He is still eating though.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 4 years ago.

Scott Nimmo :

Hello and welcome, my name is Scott and I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon, I will be very pleased to work with you today and will try my best to answer your question to your satisfaction.

Scott Nimmo :

When did this first start?

JACUSTOMER-f2i8qtqj- : Yesterday
JACUSTOMER-f2i8qtqj- : At park on Sunday, he was eating and sniffing grass
Scott Nimmo :

Ok no problem, thanks for that I have an idea what is going on, please stand by and I will type it all out.

Scott Nimmo :

Where these sort of symptoms are sudden onset I would not be at all surprised if Alfie has not contracted an infectious respiratory disease such as kennel cough. However where a dog is coughing like that other diagnosis are certainly possible but from your description it does sound a bit like kennel cough.

Scott Nimmo :

Here are the symptoms of kennel cough

JACUSTOMER-f2i8qtqj- : My husband was cutting up grape vine and he may have eaten the odd grape whic also worries me
Scott Nimmo :

1. Most owners whose dog has kennel cough think there might be something stuck in the throat due to the strange cough / retch that these dogs have - a bit like a seal honk!

Scott Nimmo :

The dog may sneeze a little but the cough is the main symptom, some dogs are quite bright and alert but others can be lethargic during the course of this disease.

Scott Nimmo :

The dog will cough and retch for a few minutes and in the end it will be productive, he will bring up some white sputum, sometimes owners take this for vomit. Once he has done this he will settle down for a bit. This however is a repeated cough / retch which just keep happening. Particularly if he is under stress with the post man etc.

JACUSTOMER-f2i8qtqj- : How would he have caught this? He had the vaccination about 4 months ago! Also does this I,pair their barking and make them lethargic?
Scott Nimmo :

This does not sound like grape toxicity, roughly how many grapes would he have had access to?

Scott Nimmo :

Kennel cough is a common contagious respiratory disease of canines. This disease is usually associated with recently having been in kennels or having been where dogs congregate, { Like the vet's surgery for example! } but dogs living on their own can sometimes catch it as well as it is an airborne disease.

JACUSTOMER-f2i8qtqj- : Maybe 8 tiny grapes! Difficult to know!
Scott Nimmo :

There are effective vaccines against some forms of this disease but because there are a number of other forms vaccinated dogs can still contract this disease.

Scott Nimmo :

eight small one should not present a problem but keep him away from grapes if you can

JACUSTOMER-f2i8qtqj- : Should intake him to the vet and what would they do?
Scott Nimmo :

So if this is kennel cough what should you do about it? : It is normally not a serious disease but will run its course given one to two weeks without treatment, however antibiotics will speed up recovery and make Alfie feel better very quickly. For this reason my advice would be to have your vet check Alfie over at the next opportunity and of course this is a wise move as other diagnosis are possible. Unfortunately there is little you can do to make him more comfortable on a home remedy basis I am afraid.

Scott Nimmo :

This is rarely an emergency so a regular hours appointment should be fine

Scott Nimmo :

The normal treatment for kennel cough is just acourse of antibiotics

Scott Nimmo :

In Alfie's age group this is unlikely to be too serious ...

JACUSTOMER-f2i8qtqj- : Should intake him to the vet?
Scott Nimmo :

The best plan is to take him to the vet to be checked over, the chances are you are going to need prescription drugs such as antibiotics in any case.

JACUSTOMER-f2i8qtqj- : Thank you!for that!
Scott Nimmo :

No problem, very glad to have advised you ...