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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17933
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog has kennel cough what can I give him?

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My dog has kennel cough what can I give him?
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
I'm sorry to hear that Max has a cough and I understand that you are concerned about him.
A cough simply means he is experiencing airway irritation.
A cough can be related to heart disease, including heartworm, lung disease secondary to a viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection or tracheal irritation due to a bacterial, viral or fungal infection.
In a young dog infectious disease is by far the most common cause, but that is not always the case in older dogs with a cough. Of the infectious diseases we see kennel cough or infectious tracheobronchitis is one of the most common causes.
Was he was exposed to other dogs in a kennel, grooming parlor or dog park within the past week to 10 days? If so kennel cough would be high on my list of possible problems.
Even if he has been vaccinated we cannot vaccinate against all of the agents that cause kennel cough and some dogs will still get sick even with the vaccine. The good news is that dogs that are vaccinated usually don't get as sick as dogs that haven't been vaccinated.
As long as he is still able to eat and drinking well, isn't too lethargic, isn't running a fever (rectal temperature greater than 103F), and he doesn't have a green or yellow nasal or eye discharge then you can try taking a watch and see approach and using an over the counter cough suppressant.
Make sure he gets plenty of fluids, lots of rest as the more active he is then more he will cough, and eats well. Add warm water or low salt chicken broth to his food. The better hydrated he is the better he will feel and the thinner his respiratory secretions will be.
You can take him into the bathroom with you when you take a hot bath or shower so he can breathe the steam which is soothing to his airways and thins mucous, making it easier for him to breathe. You can also use a humidifier in the room he sleeps in,
His cough should slowly resolve over the next 2 to 3 weeks. Most of the time these dogs feel pretty well so it's a matter of keeping them quiet and suppressing the cough if we can.
If the cough is very bad you can use human cough/cold medications with Guaifenesin (an expectorant) and Dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) only such as Benylin or Robitussin DM. Give 1 teaspoon per 10 kilograms of body weight every 6 to 8 hours.
If he is running a fever this is almost certainly a contagious infection and if he is running a fever and is lethargic then an examination is definitely warranted as pneumonia may have developed and he should be on antibiotics.
Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. It is in depth and I will take steps to reduce the cough he has. I feel more reassured about his condition now that I know what's wrong and what I have to do to help him

Thank you from Max and myself

Kindest regards Ron

You are very welcome, my best to your fellow, Dr. Kara.
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