Unresolved Cough in Dogs: Kupo’s Story. What Would You Do if It Was Your Dog?

Kennel cough is a respiratory infection in dogs. It is a lay term for an infectious respiratory disease (CIRD) complex. Even though the symptoms are similar, the term paints a picture different from a common cold, doesn’t it?

Unresolved Cough in Dogs: Kupo's Story of Cough that Didn't Go Away. What Would You Do if It Was Your Dog?

The underlying infection behind kennel cough can be bacteria, viruses, or a combination of both. Some of these microorganisms are more commonly involved–that’s the ones included in the kennel cough vaccine.

The infection leads to inflammation which results in the typical symptom–coughing.

Kupo starts coughing

Kupo was 6 months old. He started with a little cough about a week after he received his kennel cough vaccination. The veterinarian diagnosed Kupo’s coughing as kennel cough.

Kupo’s parents thought it was strange that Kupo would get the infection after he was already vaccinated. However, the whole thing is not as simple than that.

Most of the time, the treatment for kennel cough consists of patience and TLC. Some dogs, however, need medications that control inflammation and coughing. Antibiotics sometimes help shorten the course of the disease.

Kupo’s infection seemed mild

Kupo should have improved within a week or so. Instead, a week and a half later, Kupo was still coughing and getting worse rather than better.

Kupo’s parents took him back to a veterinarian.

The veterinarian assured them nothing weird was happening and gave them medication to help.

In two weeks, Kupo finished his medication but continued to get worse. It’s been now a whole month since the cough first started. His parents were worried, and no longer buying that kennel cough was all that was going on.

Kupo was not improving

After doing some research, they learned about other, scary respiratory problems. They returned to the vet, and brought up their concerns.

The veterinarian tried to prescribe different medication but Kupo’s parents insisted on x-rays. The x-rays didn’t show anything abnormal.

While that was a relief, it also failed to explain why Kupo’s cough was not resolving. His parents agreed to try the new medication for additional two weeks.

Kupo continued to get worse

There is nothing more frustrating than things going downhill in spite of repeat veterinary visits and treatments. Kupo was now having a really hard time, coughing up large amounts of phlegm and his quality of life was poor.

Its been a month and a half since Kupo started coughing. The veterinarian offered yet another, different prescription to try.

Would you continue trying different prescriptions? Would you seek a second opinion? What would you do if it was your dog?

Read Kupo’s story here.

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Coughing

Further reading:
Kennel Cough (Infectious Tracheobronchitis) in Dogs

Categories: Collapsing tracheaConditionsCoughingDog health advocacyKennel CoughMisdiagnosesReal-life StoriesSecond opinionsSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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