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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Soothing Sore Dog Throats

Kennel Cough in Dogs

*DzDogs is not a veterinarian or animal health expert, please seek veterinary care before attempting to treat your animal yourself.*

See these dogs? Guess what they picked up at daycare last week? Yup, kennel cough.

Poor lazy, sick dogs..

Don't let this picture fool you! They actually feel fine, they are up and about as if nothing is wrong and driving me crazy because I can't take them outside.

On Friday (2 days after daycare) Ziva began hacking like she had something stuck in her throat - a possibility since she had just been munching on a cow hoof. So we watched her, and everything seemed fine. Well then every time she got active she would begin to cough, not too bad just a bit - always sounding like something was in her throat.

On Saturday Dante started coughing, hacking, and wheezing like he couldn't get enough air in his lungs, very scary! But just as quickly as it started it went away, he had maybe 2 episodes that night. We figured call the vet on Monday and look for the symptoms online. Aside from a couple episodes each, they weren't displaying any signs of fever, lethargy, or loss of appetite and I hate dealing with emergency vets.

Both Dante and Ziva are vaccinated against Kennel Cough but that is not a guarantee that they won't still get it because it is both a viral & bacterial infection and their are many different strains.

It's called Kennel Cough because it is common in dogs that are kept in places like boarding kennels, animal shelters, grooming salons, and other places where large amounts of dogs are kept in close quarters. But it is also called "Tracheobronchitis".

Symptoms of Kennel Cough include:

  • hacking, dry/harsh gagging noises as if something is stuck in the throat (honking noises)
  • wheezing
  • eye discharge
  • and sometimes a bit of nasal discharge
In mild cases - Kennel Cough does not affect your dog's activity levels or appetite. Symptoms appear within a week, and may last 10 days, however your dog remains contagious for potentially weeks thereafter! Lets hope not in our case!

Severe Kennel Cough can cause high fever and eventually lead to pneumonia if not caught early. In puppies and senior dogs this can be fatal so please see your vet!

Monday - I called the vet and sure enough she said that over the phone it sounds like a dead ringer for Kennel Cough. Well Monday's are our normal daycare days, ugh so this means no daycare and the poor pups get locked indoors because the cold aggravates the coughing, and I would have to get my friend to come over in the afternoon for a potty break because it's my long day.
Hubby and I decided not to bring the dogs into the vets office, they aren't bad enough to warrant antibiotics and since it is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS we didn't want to risk any dogs who might be in the waiting room. Hubby and I made the decision that since they are both young and healthy we will just wait it out at home for now and watch them like hawks. If the symptoms get worse we'll take them in.

Most veterinarians treat Kennel Cough similar to a common cold in humans. Let the virus run it's course and keep stress levels down. In serious cases antibiotics are prescribed - not something I want to do unless we absolutely have to do.

So now our dogs are under house arrest.

Inmate #1 - Dante, breed: boxer mix, gender: male, age: 2.5 years.

Inmate #2 - Ziva, breed: American Pit Bull Terrier, gender: female, age: 22 months.

  • No Hard Exercise
  • No staying out in the cold
  • No being around other dogs
  • Lots of rest, relaxation, and hydration

At Home Sore Throat Soother

1 tsp. of Honey
2 tsp. of Organic Coconut Oil

Microwave your honey for about 5-10 seconds, you want it just warm enough to melt the coconut oil when you mix the two together. Mix, and serve!
3-4 Times a day or as needed for coughing.

Honey - soothes the throat but it is also antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and it also has anti-fungal properties!

Coconut Oil - Benefits HERE Coconut Oil is amazing in itself to the point where a while back I dedicated a whole post to it. Check it out!

Please watch out if you go looking online, some recipes for sore throat soothers recommend lemon juice and/or apple cider vinegar - both of these are very acidic and high levels of acid is bad for dog tummies.

Stay Warm & Healthy Friends!


  1. Oh no - house arrest! I remember when Blueberry came down with kennel cough last year - she caught it from when we were out hiking so I think a carrier dog left the disease behind and she picked it up somehow. She had so much coughing, she was vomiting throughout the night and ended up needing antibiotics and a cough suppressant. She was so miserable for a few days there. Thankfully, she just spent a lot of time resting and was soon back to her old self.

    Here's to hoping Ziva and Dante heal without needing a trip to the vet. That sore throat remedy sounds excellent! I have both of those ingredients on hand at all times - so it would be easy enough to make if necessary.

    1. Yikes! Yours was certainly a bad case! How long did it take her to recover?

    2. She felt much better after a few days - but I made her rest about 5 days before we did any hiking. I didn't want to risk her making any other dogs sick either.

  2. Oh no!! I'm sorry Dante and Ziva got sick! Kennel cough sucks! Zoe had it SO bad when we adopted her. She had to see the vet multiple times and we did have to do the antibiotics. Phoenix had it, too when we got her but it wasn't as bad. It's not fun when the pups are sick!

    I hope they feel better soon!

  3. Oh gosh, so sorry to hear that. Love the sore throat soother idea, I hope both of your pups have a quick recovery!

  4. So sorry yous got zapped by kennel cough! We hope you get better fast!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  5. I hope Dante and Ziva are feeling better soon. I didn't realize dogs could get Kennel Cough even if they've been vaccinated, good to know!

    1. I know right?! But it makes sense... My agility instructor said she doesn't even both vaccinating her dogs against it because they can get it anyways and she doesn't want to over-vaccinate. She said she's been lucky in that none of her dogs have ever gotten it even with all the agility, rally, and other doggy events they do.


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