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kennel cough vs. pneumonia

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I have a two year old lab that started vomiting yesterday afternoon. With what labs tend to eat while outside it didn't bother me too much. I thought she'd be fine after she cleared what was bothering her. A couple hours pass and she does it again. Now I'm thinking, o.k, maybe she's got a cold or something. Well, last night around ten, she began a violent session of vomiting. It seemed like she couldn't breath for twenty minutes. That went off and on the whole night, I got maybe two hours of sleep with being up with the pup all night making sure she didn't stop breathing. Then this morning she kept the same cycle going. Twenty minutes of vomiting with about an hour between sessions. She has this real raspy cough now, and with no food being in her stomach, it's pretty much just a filmy clear liquid. When I brought her in to the vet this afternoon, she was making her raspy dry cough as we got in, and the dotor immediately diagnosed it as kennel cough. Then when we checked her out more, she had a fever of 104.6, which seemed to confuse the vet. He said fevers don't usually accompany kennel cough. He gave me some antibiotics and some hydrocodone for the cough surpressant and to help her sleep. The vet said that if the fever doesn't go away soon that it's probably a fungal pneumonia. Anyone dealt with this before and if so, does it sound like my dog has the cough or the pneumonia? I guess time will tell, but acting early could make things better sooner. Thanks!

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I am no Vet by all means, so I did a little research on this and could not find anything about vomiting on the pneumonia part. I sugggest doing a google yourself and see if you can find some more info on it. Maybe LABS or Setter has more input and I have found their input very useful. I am a little concerned about all the vomiting and your pup being able to keep hydrated. Is your pup drinking water? If your not convinced on your Vets diagnosis, maybe a second opinion is in order? I feel for ya man!! I would probably loose my job if this happened to my Lab, because I would be staying home trying to help him get well, so I wish you the best!!!


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I don't know a lot about kennel cough... I've (knock on wood) never had a dog that contracted it. I had a couple of friends dogs that had it from boarding kennels and one got it at a trainer's kennel. Make sure you give bordatella vaccinations (kennel cough) if they are going to any kind of area where multiple dogs gather.

When You posted that she had a fever, right away I thought bacterial... this is the bodies response to kill the bacteria. The vomit may be from all the wretching while she coughs. I think the anti-biotics and cough suppresent will turn her around quickly... if you don't see improvement in the 1st day or 2, she needs to go back in.

I just got done doing some reading on bordetella and found out there are many strains of the disease. Some viral, some bacterial. It is usually accompanied with a secondary infection... fevers may or may not be present, along with lethergy and loss of appetite. The cough is the most pronounced symptom. It sounds like a dog constantly clearing it's throat. Most dogs can heal up on their own with no intervention, but most will respond better and heal faster with an antibiotic treatment. It is the same to a dog as a Human's chest cold or bronchitis.

Keep an eye on her, make her rest and remain quiet... the more she moves, the more she will exaserbate the the coughing. A great point was made to keep her well hydrated. If she is not drinking much, flavor her water with some chicken broth. Introduce food slowly. Do not let her just fill up on food or she may begin to throw up again.

I hope everything works out well and this passes soon! Let us know how it goes.

Good Luck!


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Mr. B

Maggie my 5 year old Lab has had kennel cough and she was current on her vac. There was no vomitting, but plenty of hacking, coughing and gagging. Not pleasent to watch.

I can not remember if the vet gave her antibiotics or not but it cleared up quickly.

Two things you might want to think about. If it is kennel cough there is a period that your lab will be contagious and like Labs said there are roughyl 100 causes of kennel cough. The vac. only covers roughly the 20 most common causes. Simmialr to the human flu vac.

Good luck I hope your lab is back to normal as soon as possible.

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Thanks for your input guys. The pup is doing much better now. Like labs said, she should turn around quickly with the meds, and she did. After 1 day on the meds she only vomitted once that day. Now she's full of energy again and ready to hunt. smile.gif The fever dropped the very next day as well. Looks like it turned out to be Kennel cough. I've never experienced that before and it was not fun!!! I thought she was going to meet her maker with how she was acting. She still has a couple days of meds left and then she should be set. Take care, all!

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