coughing in Akita
  • Just thought I'd see if anyone had any suggestions for us. Oskar, my soon to be 4 year old American Akita, is coughing a fair amount. It's a dry muted cough, and he does it especially if he is excited or exerting himself. It's not like kennel cough (I recognize that one), and he's done it off and on for a couple of months now. Nothing is stuck in his throat/nose. He's been to the vet, and they don't see anything. More than anything, what this cough reminds me of is the sound a dog makes that has a collapsing trachea--if you've heard dogs that have been jerked around with prong collars or even regular collars too much, you'll know what I mean. Oskar, however, has never been walked with a collar, so if that is the problem, I'd have no idea why. He also does not seem to have any problems eating or drinking (not sure that matters, but thought I'd mention it).

    If you've been around the forum for awhile, you know he has health issues. He has problems in the cervical vertebrae that are bad enough that they sometimes put pressure on the vagus nerve, and when this happens, he has flare ups that include upper respiratory issues, and problems in his eyes. When this happens, he does sometimes cough. Right now, though, he's not in one of these acute phases, and the only thing going on is the odd, dry coughing.

    If anyone has any thoughts of things I should check for, I'd appreciate it. Right now, I'm not even sure what to ask my vet to look at.
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • I don't think I have anything helpful.

    Bijo has occasionally coughed a lot since we got her, but specifically it sounds like she's hacking up a hairball and it happens after she has been eating or drinking. She's never been sick or had anything else that seems to be a problem and it clears up in a couple minutes and doesn't come back; so we try to get her to slow down when she eats, with some success, but it still happens when she drinks too quickly.

    Recently a puppy from Litter B (Noogie) had a cough that was similar to Bijo's. The owner video taped it and it seemed the same - but it didn't go away, so she took him to the vet. The first time he was at the vet, he said it wasn't kennel cough but he had inflammation/irritation that was causing it. Perhaps he swallowed something with a rough edge. However, it still didn't go away and then her other dog started coughing too, so it turned out to be kennel cough after all.

    EDIT: So maybe kennel cough sounds different in different dogs. Or maybe he swallowed something sharp and did some damage.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2014-02-10 14:12:57
  • tajotajo
    Posts: 128
    Also Tajo my JA, usually coughs when he drinks water quickly on when he cleans himself by licking his legs, i guess hairs get into his mouth and this is why he coughs.
    He does it very often when he is blowing his coat, i guess it is mainly because of his fur getting somehow into his mouth. I dont know if this info might help you.
  • Thanks for your thoughts. It's kind of an odd situation, and I didn't know if anyone had encountered it before, but I thought it was worth asking!
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3963
    Not sure about Akita, but I have heard of coughing issues occurring in huskies. Will have to find the info again, but one type was due to paralysis of one or both sides of the larynx and another type was due to something similar to asthma.

    Edit: Found one type http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/respiratory/c_dg_laryngeal_disease
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    Post edited by Calia at 2014-02-12 11:09:26
  • Thanks Beth! This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping someone might know something about!

    I think it is interesting, and rather disturbing, that one of the reasons this syndrome may occur is vagal nerve abnormality, and we do think a lot of Oskar's odd symptoms are from pressure on the vagus nerve. :( He has a lot of upper respiratory infections, too, which I've never even experienced in a dog. I'll make a note of this to give to my vet, too, but I bet it something like this, because of the abnormalities of the cervical vertebrae.

    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3963
    Hopefully his coughing isn't anything serious and just a reaction to the winter air, but I figured that larynx thing would be worth sharing with you since you had mentioned nerve issues. Sucks that you and Oscar have to go through this :(
    image
  • rikumomrikumom
    Posts: 438
    Is Oskar still coughing? I'm very sorry to read this, especially about the nerve issue.

    Our shiba Riku, who is almost 13, started coughing and hacking like he has a hairball last year. We have radiant heat so we know is not from forced air heat. This happens very sporadically and usually ends up keeping me up at night from all the noise he makes. The first two times it happened we went to the vet to make sure it's not kennel cough, got cough syrup. Blood work and urine test came out clear (granted, that's not going to test Kennel Cough but our JA Meichan isn't coughing and both dogs get vaccination) So our vet suggested we get some children's Benedryl as it could just be allergies. Riku otherwise has no symptoms of allergies. I started monitoring the pollen count in our area via The Weather Channel app and I do see a correlation between days when he's quiet vs. days when I need to give him Benedryl.
  • We do have some allergy issues with our other dogs, so I had thought of that. Oskar has not shown any allergies, yet. He's not coughing right now, thankfully--it stopped about a week ago.
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • lwrothlwroth
    Posts: 161
    Glad the coughing stopped! I've had an Akita with partial laryngeal paralysis and read a lot about the condition when I had that dog. I also thought of coccidiodomycosis, but if Oskar's coughing has stopped, it's not likely one of those.
  • I'll still going to pass all these on to my vet. Coughing got really bad again from last night on, and by this morning, he was vomiting and coughing. Took him to the vet, where they gave him a shot of steroids, which stopped it mostly, thankfully. He does not have kennel cough, and his lungs were clear, but he's a mess in the upper respiratory system, and was having a lot of trouble breathing. Right now, we think it was a triggered by inhalant allergies (everyone in the house is having some problems, including the humans, and the juniper pollen, which is considered to be high at 100, as been at 1175 for most of the week).

    Oskar is very susceptible to URIs, but this was very very bad indeed. Mostly, my vet wanted to just get him to stop coughing before it got worse, so we've got more meds that I normally like to give (and I'm never a fan of predisone, but in this case, we had to do something). Once he's over this bad patch, though, we're going to look into this further, but since it was an emergency visit today, we didn't do xrays--today was mostly just trying to get him under control. She hadn't heard of the larnyx issue, and I couldn't remember all the details while I was in there, but I said I'd bring in more info. on it next time, so we can check.

    My poor boy, though. he was miserable today, and the thing that made me saddest was he was clearly upset that he kept vomiting, and was frantic to go outside to do it out there. Of course, I don't care: I just want him to feel better, but he clearly thought he should not do it in the house, and so in addition to being sick, he was anxious from that. :( (Kind of odd, too, because I never scold them, and certainly never would for vomiting, and even during housetraining, the most I do is aah-aah-aah to interrupt peeing so I can get the dog outside quickly. But Oskar apparently has a strong sense of what is allowed in the house and not).
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3963
    If it is allergies, have you thought of installing an air purifier? Keeping the indoor air clean could help him (and everyone else) more comfortable and then he would only have to deal with the pollen when outside.
    image
  • mdokicmdokic
    Posts: 1020
    Poor little Oskar..I hope it all gets squared away soon, and that there's no more vomiting! No fun, ESP when you don't know what exact cause is.. Give the guy some scritches for me <3<div class="UserSignature">Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
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  • rikumomrikumom
    Posts: 438
    Dislike. My allergies have been better since the recent storms but am very sorry to hear Oskar's cough worsened. I hope he gets well soon.
  • We're turning the corner on this, thankfully, but it looked like it WAS kennel cough, which was exacerbated by sky high pollen levels, and the fact that his immune system is compromised in general. I ended up having to get a cough syrup with codeine in it (my vet had to call around like crazy to find what she wanted), and that with all the other stuff (pred, and antibiotics) has slowed him down enough for the antibiotics to work. He's actually a lot better today (the constant coughing was making him worse and worse).

    But what I nightmare. I don't usually get the bordatella vaccinations because in general, the dogs aren't going places they'll get it, and it's not that effective, and even when they have got kennel cough before (probably from a class at the shelter, like this time, brought home by Zora), it was so mild it was gone in a few days. But I'd not thought of Oskar's immune system,and how bad he gets these kind of infections. I guess I'll have to rethink my strategy on the bordatella vaccination, if it helps to stop something like this from happening. Maybe at least he should have it.
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2014-03-03 13:55:32
  • mdokicmdokic
    Posts: 1020
    Glad he's doing better @shibamistress!! It's never fun not knowing for such a long time, but so glad you all figured it out! Hugs to the big guy <3<div class="UserSignature">Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
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  • aykayk
    Posts: 1977
    When I got my rescue Poongsan, he had kennel cough, but it was a really bad case of coughing and vomitting.

    I think because the rescue also gave him a steriod shot as a preventative for flea allergy, it surpressed him immune system and made it worse than it usually is.
  • sjp051993sjp051993
    Posts: 1605
    The dogs is vaccinated for kennel cough would actually get it worse than the dogs that were not vaccinated for it. I stopped giving the vaccination a few years ago and have had much better success. Now if someone picks it up it is pretty mild.
    Stacey living with Tora, Kazue, Ritsu and Kuma the Shiba
    www.suteishiikennels.com

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  • rikumomrikumom
    Posts: 438
    I get the bordatella vaccine for my now ~13-year-old shiba and 20-month-old JA b/c both the daycare and the groomer's business requires them. We're lucky both our fur kids have stayed healthy on this regime.
  • The dogs is vaccinated for kennel cough would actually get it worse than the dogs that were not vaccinated for it. I stopped giving the vaccination a few years ago and have had much better success. Now if someone picks it up it is pretty mild.


    They'd get it worse if they were vaccinated? Why? It would be useful to hear more about this, given Oskar's problems.

    (For my other dogs, I tend not to vaccinate for it, because if they get it, it's mild, like your experience. But Oskar is still quite sick today--though improving--and I'd really like to try to avoid a repeat of this).

    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • ShikokuShikoku
    Posts: 264
    I hope he gets better! I have never experienced kc do you know where it might have come from? As I read it seemed like from just the air? -I'd like to know more if you don't mind.


    -------------------
    Location:MD/VA/DC. Pets: Athena- Shikoku and Hades- Shiba Inu
  • It's passed much like a cold is passed in humans, through a bacteria or virus. Usually it's like a cold for us, too, meaning not fun, but not that bad either.

    I was taking my Akita puppy to a class at the local shelter, and of course, shelters are places where things like this crop up and are hard to control. I suspect she brought it home (she has had the mildest of coughs, but it is almost gone). Oskar is the one who couldn't fight it off well.

    Here's an article on kennel cough: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/kennel-cough-in-dogs
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • sjp051993sjp051993
    Posts: 1605
    Hiro was always vaccinated for it. He would get it worse than the others. Tora and kuma received the vaccine twice and get it, but not as bad as Hiro. Hiro would have to be on antibiotics to get through it. Last time it went through my house Hiro was the worst then kuma, Tora and Ritsu had it but not bad. Kazue and the 10 week old pup I had got a very mild case. The 2 unvaccinated dogs had the most mild cases and recovered the quickest.
    Stacey living with Tora, Kazue, Ritsu and Kuma the Shiba
    www.suteishiikennels.com

    DSCF0686IMG_0940 - Version 2DSCF0714IMG_1151

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  • ShikokuShikoku
    Posts: 264
    It's passed much like a cold is passed in humans, through a bacteria or virus. Usually it's like a cold for us, too, meaning not fun, but not that bad either.

    I was taking my Akita puppy to a class at the local shelter, and of course, shelters are places where things like this crop up and are hard to control. I suspect she brought it home (she has had the mildest of coughs, but it is almost gone). Oskar is the one who couldn't fight it off well.

    Here's an article on kennel cough: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/kennel-cough-in-dogs


    Thanks for the valuable info

    -------------------
    Location:MD/VA/DC. Pets: Athena- Shikoku and Hades- Shiba Inu
  • PoetikDragonPoetikDragon
    Posts: 2802
    The problem with the vaccine is the same problem we have with humans and the common cold: there are just so many strains of the virus. The reason why you have to redo it every six months is not because it "wears off" but because by the time six months comes around, there are all new strains the dog is being exposed to. The theory is that your dog would get a different vaccine each time; but that is not the reality.

    Effective vaccination would require that the vet have vaccines specifically formulated for the strains in the region and re-formulated very frequently to keep up with the changes in the local environment. But they get their vaccines from a national manufacturer and they're not making new ones all that frequently. In short, re-vaccinating does nothing because in all probability its the same vaccine the dog got six months ago - which may not even be one of the strains in your area.

    http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2012/03/21/bordetella-does-your-dog-really-need-the-kennel-cough-vaccine/

    https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/bordatella-vaccination-dogs/

    Akitas are a high-risk breed for vaccinosis; I have experienced it first hand and they're listed by Dr. Hean Dodds as well. With that in mind, as well as the complete lack of efficacy of the bordetella vaccine, I don't give it and I don't take my dogs any place that requires it.

    http://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/32291451370/

    I hope you find the right balance for Oskar, with his existing health issues and apparent susceptibility to infectious diseases.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2014-03-05 12:59:11
  • Yes, this is exactly why I don't usually get anything extra at all for my NKs--we know that Akitas in particular are susceptible to problems. (My poor AA puppy had a terrible reaction to the lepto vaccine, for example, one which I would not even have given her had I known it was mixed in with our distemper/parvo vac). And I also have not found the bordatella vaccine particularly useful.

    But...if it would stop Oskar from going through this....But I can't really tell if it would or not, knowing how ineffective it usually is. :(

    (Funny, too, that WDJ had an article on Kennel Cough which I got right after I got back from the vet with him...)

    It's clear that this has to do with him, and his immune system though. Zora was coughing a bit last week, and is already over it. Leo seems to be starting a bit yesterday, but it's so mild, I'm just going to wait and see. It's just poor Oskar that got knocked down by it.
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • Kuma123Kuma123
    Posts: 825
    @shibamistress, I just wanted to check in on Oskar... how is he feeling? I hope he is much improved!!
    My goal is to be as good a person as my dogs think I am!
  • Thanks for asking! He's very slowly getting better. Today may have been the first day I really noticed a lessening of his coughing, but I did. It's a slow process for him.

    And the other dogs are totally fine, now, so while I do believe it was/is kennel cough, it just hit him particularly hard.
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • Kuma123Kuma123
    Posts: 825
    I am glad he had a better day yesterday and that you see marked improvement. I feel so bad for him but I know he has the best mom possible looking out for him! Please give the "little" fella an ear scratch for me.
    My goal is to be as good a person as my dogs think I am!
    Post edited by Kuma123 at 2014-03-11 09:02:31

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