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I have three 2 yo labrador retrievers. They...

Resolved • Response time 11 minutes

5 Dec 2011

I have three 2 yo labrador retrievers. They were boarded for Thanksgiving weekend, but came home healthy. This morning they all started to have dry hacking cough, without ( yet) any signs of malaise, loss of appetite, fever or URI. The cough comes in waves, and is increased when they are excited. Their doctor is out of town today, and the practice failed to call me back. I am a doctor, and I would like to know what might be the differential dx. I looked up the Kennel cough, which seems to be have different ethiologies, including viruses or bacteria ( Bordetella). They had all vaccines in February 2011 ( but they only do once a year Bordetella here). Please let me know what Antibiotic to use for Bordetella in dogs and what would be the dose per lb or kg. Thanks,
Ioana
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5 Dec 2011

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Dog Veterinarian's response
5 Dec 2011
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Hi Ioana - You need not look any farther than infectious tracheobroncitis ("kennel cough"). The infectious agent is bordetella bronchiceptica (similar to whooping cough) which may be complicated with the parainfluenza virus (especially if you're hearing a "honking" cough). Bordetella vaccinations aren't expected to be protective for a year by us although the vaccine manufacturers tell us otherwise. I recommend twice yearly vaccinations for often boarded dogs. The intranasal vaccine is testing out better than the injectable in recent studies - although I'm loath to shoot things up dogs' noses...The antibiotic of choice is potentiated amoxicillin (the human Augmentin, the veterinary Clavamox) or doxycycline. The dose of doxycycline ranges between 5-10mg/kg once daily for 7-10 days for uncomplicated tracheobronchitis. The dose of potentiated amoxicillin is 13.75mg/kg PO twice daily for 7-10 days. Note, though, that antibiotics may only shorten the course of this infection by a day or two. I rarely treat healthy adult dogs because they usually remiss uneventfully on their own. Cough suppression may be provided, if needed, by codeine. Adult labs can be given a full grain of codeine every 8-12 hours. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
5 Dec 2011
Customer reply
5 Dec 2011

Hi Dr. Salkin, and thank you for the answer. I also have the dogs' mother at home. She is 13 yo, and about to have surgery for a superficial fibrosarcoma. She was boarded, too, same place, same time. She has not developed any spts. However, given her age, and the upcoming surgery... is there anything that i can do prophylactically? I suppose that the incubation is about 7 days? Should I keep her away from the infected dogs?

5 Dec 2011
Dog Veterinarian's response
5 Dec 2011
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
It's too late for quarantining her. She's already been exposed. This airborne infection is highly infectious. The incubation period is 3-10 days. The value of prophylactic antibiotics is questionable. Bordetella prefers to inhabit poorly vascularized areas of a dog's respiratory tree; effective bacterial levels are difficult to reach unless we nebulize these patients - impractical considering the minor severity of the infection. It's unlikely that instituting either of those antibiotics would be harmful, however, and considering her age we might at least prevent the colonization of her lower respiratory tract. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
5 Dec 2011
Dog Veterinarian's response
5 Dec 2011
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Thank you for your kind accepts and generosity, Dr. I appreciate it. My best to all your dogs and happy holidays to you.
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
Avg. question only $30
University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 48 years of experience
5 Dec 2011
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