Feeling like the worst dog-mom in the world

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
Post # 16
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Technically your vet did diagnose your dog with kennel cough at the first visit. Kennel cough is the common name but the actual name is infectious tracheobronchitis. We often call it bronchitis for short. Your vet started him on the proper antibiotics for kennel cough, but unfortunately he did not improve. Sometimes despite antibiotics, dogs develop resistant infections and that turns into pneumonia. You did everything right by bringing him back in, and so did your vet. When a dog doesn’t improve from kennel cough on antibiotics, we do chest x-rays to confirm that they don’t have pneumonia, which unfortunately he did. I wouldn’t beat yourself up, but also know that the vet followed standard protocol for kennel cough, unfortunately he had a severe case. 

Post # 17
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

mrscb2bee :  hey I’m a vet, hopefully I can provide some clarity for you. I work in an emergency vet hospital and I focus on critical care. Unfortunately it is common for vets to book possible infectious (but stable) patients at the end of the day, we don’t do that (we also don’t close so there is no end of the day!).

There is a very specific cough associated with kennel cough, and it is elicited when we gently press on the airway nearly 100% of the time and sound she like a harsh goose honking cough. Did your pet have his tempature taken? I usually don’t prescribe antibiotics unless it’s very young, very old, or febrile. Most kennel cough runs its course (the disease complex is a combination of virus, bacteria [bordetella], and mycoplasma). There are no antivirals for the virus and doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice for bordetella and mycoplasma. Cough suppressants (usually hycodan, codeine, or butorphanol are the ones we use). 

As for vaccine, the vaccine only is effective against the bordetella portion of the disease complex, vaccinated dogs definitely get kennel cough (it just may reduce the severity of the clinical signs), similar to how a flu shot does not guarantee you won’t get the flu. Technically the vaccine needs to be administered every 6 months for maximum benefit.

I definitely have seen kennel cough cause pneumonia (which is complicated because this pneumonia does not respond to the normal combination of penicillin and/or fluoroquinolone antibiotics typically prescribed for pneumonia).

So even though I absolutely support you in that you did not feel your pet got the full attention/full physical exam the first day, she/he did not prescribe the wrong medications. I always at least offer radiographs (x-ray) if they are febrile, but honestly most people decline unless they are having difficulty breathing (then I make it less optional). I’m glad your dog is getting better, it usually has a favourable outcome. I’m not trying to turn the tables at all, but the only thing that could have prevented it from progressing to pneumonia (maybe) is getting in right away when the cough first started and starting meds right away (did the groomer mention KC going around?). Sometimes nothing could have changed the absolute outcome either. But if you feel like your first appointment was rushed because it was the end of the day (and that you had no option but to come in at the end of the day), definitely ask to speak to the clinic manager about your concerns — it could end up saving someone else’s pet too!

Post # 18
Member
2595 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Oh sweetie, this isn’t your fault and it sounds like an honest mistake on the vets behalf. Your little one will pull through and be back to normal before you know it! Then you get cuddles and licks :-D. Sending you both good vibes.

Post # 19
Member
1597 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

mrscb2bee :  It’s not your fault! You did the right thing taking him to the vet, they fucked up and missed the kennel cough. Btw, you are correct about vaccinations – my dog was vaccinated too and he still caught it from another pup at the dog park, there are different strains I think. 

It sounds like your dog was one of the unlucky ones in that he developed pneumonia so quickly. When mine had kennel cough this winter, it cleared within a couple of days and he didn’t even need medication, although the vet was prepared to offer it should he have gotten worse. Keep him inside and give him lots of snuggles!

Post # 21
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

mrscb2bee :  for the vaccine… according to manufacturer and AAHA guidelines every 6 months is recommended, now I don’t have any clients myself that actually do that… and also since it’s just the bordetella portion that the vaccine covers I’m not even sure that it would make much of a difference to the average pet owner (personally) unless you are in a real endemic situation often (work at an animal shelter or SPCA where you could be constanty bringing it home with you).

As for the groomer, I was just trying to think about chances of it being kennel cough, we had quite nice outbreak in our city a year or so ago, all of the doggie day cares had to close to let it blow over (we were seeing 10-15 patients a day for a few days with symptoms). Generally if there has been an outbreak most professionals who care for dogs would say something to the clients (without implicating themselves obviously).

Has your vet clinic shown you the X-rays? I find it particularly interesting that there was pneumonia without a fever. Eating is a great sign though, hopefully he’ll be home soon.

Its also a little odd to me that they would be taking recheck X-rays so soon. We often don’t take recheck X-rays until 2-3 weeks of antibiotics, as the X-rays can lag behind clinical findings (ie if he feels normal and is not on oxygen and no fever, I would definitely not hospitalize until the X-rays are better). We can gauge clinically how they are doing by so many criteria – but usually I never recheck X-rays sooner than a few weeks unless they are getting worse.

I would definitely take your past and current concerns to discuss with the clinic owner or manager once this is all done. The veterinary industry is all about client services and client satisfaction, you should discuss directly with them what your expectations are for an appointment (ie not 3-5 min at the end of the day), ultimately it’s the clients that pay the salary for the vet employees!

Post # 22
Member
5963 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

mrscb2bee :  I’m glad to hear your pup is doing better! I was wondering about him. If it’s possible, I’d try to find a new vet. It’s so important to like and trust your vet. I’ve had a rough time finding one, too, but I think I may have finally!

As for pressing the airway to get a cough, our vet did that with my 1st dog and said, Yup, KC (though I couldn’t see how he’d get that). And he’s the one that ended up having CHF, not KC. I seriously think all coughing dogs sound the same. LOL! I’ve had several.

Post # 23
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

ButternutPoppy :  tracheal collapse will also cause a harsh cough, most commonly in small breed dogs… congestive heart failure cough is much different, but your dog could have had both if they weren’t a small breed. Often dogs with congestive heart failure also have low temperatures due to poor circulation (and failure), but I’m sorry they were misdiagnosed :(. It’s also impossible to be KC if there was no exposure to other dogs socially or via dog walker, groomer, day care, etc.

 

Post # 24
Member
4010 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Just wanted to comment that when we got my dog Jaxon as a puppy he was diagnosed with kennel cough. It was so severe that they were worried about pnemonia. He went through three rounds of different antibiotics then finally he was put on a nebulizer that we did at home in a carrier bag that we used to travel with him. We had to put him in the bag three times a day for 15-20 minutes while the nebulizer sprayed the strong meds in the space in the bag.

My dog loved to do it everyday and right away we saw progress. It was like night and day. Over a month of antibiotics and then all it took was the nebulizer for three days and he was improving every day. We continued with the treatment for about a week and then he was perfectly fine!

It sounds like he’s on the road to recovery and it is positive. Really great news! I just wanted to share my story as it is similar and I hope that made you feel a bit better! 

Post # 26
Member
2595 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

mrscb2bee :  Oh bee, I can only imagine! You need to treat yourself and take comfort in something. I don’t imagine this waiting game is going to get any easier. Hugs!

Post # 27
Member
38 posts
Newbee

mrscb2bee :  You did nothing wrong. The vet gave a diagnosis and you trusted them – I would have done the same thing. Dogs cannot tell us how they’re feeling, so it’s often tricky to determine what’s wrong with them when they’re sick. You did the right thing taking him to the doctor. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Hope he heals quickly!

Post # 28
Member
174 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

mrscb2bee :  is Parker back home yet? He is so handsome!! 

I’m sorry you’re going through this. I just wanted to second what a few people have said — in my experience (not a vet! just as a dog owner), kennel cough often clears up on its own in healthy dogs. Poor Parker sounds like he might be an exception here, especially since he declined so quickly! Poor guy. Does he do things like go to daycare or the dog park? Our daycare facility requires the dogs to get the KC vaccine every 6 months. My dog still came home with KC once (she’s been going to this daycare for about 1.5 years). It cleared up on its own, though.

Best wishes for Parker! I hope he’s all better and resting at home by now.

Post # 30
Member
2595 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

mrscb2bee :  Oh, your boy is home! Fabulous! Tell him to get a paper round – I’d tip!

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