Dogs cough for a variety of reasons, some of which can be serious in themselves and others that are signs of an underlying problem. Internal parasites, heartworm disease, distemper, fungus diseases, tuberculosis, allergies, and pollutants such as cigarette smoke can cause a dog to cough.
Coughing is triggered by irritants in the air passages. It can be frequent, chronic, or intermittent, and is often self-perpetuating as it dries the throat and leads to further irritation.
One of the most frequent causes of coughing in pet dogs is kennel cough or acute tracheobronchitis. A dog with kennel cough has a high, dry cough but seems to feel fine otherwise. Cases usually heal in about two weeks, but the frequent bouts of coughing can be annoying to the owner who lies awake listening to his pet hack away. Treatment includes isolation to avoid infection of other family or kennel dogs, monitoring of temperature, rest, and if the coughing is severe, use of a children's over-the-counter cough syrup. A humidifier can help the dog breathe easier and thus reduce coughing and further throat inflammation.
Kennel cough in puppies and toy breeds can be another story; the throat irritation can be accompanied by thick secretions that can cause pneumonia.
Bordatella vaccine protects dogs from several strains of kennel cough. The intranasal version of the vaccine is more effective than the inoculation.
Any dog that is constantly exposed to other dogs away from home should be protected against kennel cough.
Any repeated episodes of coughing should be investigated by a veterinarian. Owners should note any other symptoms that accompany the cough and make a list for the veterinarian. Vaccination for distemper, control of intestinal parasites, and prevention of heartworm infestation offer protection against cough-producing conditions and should be part of the pet-and-owner lifetime contract.
(Information copyright by Canis Major Publications. Reprinted by permission.)
THOUGHTS TO THINK WHILE HOLDING THE CUTEST PUPPY IN THE WORLD
How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
Will I love you when you piddle for nineteen continuous days
On that gorgeous Indian blanket that my friends have all admired?
Will I love you when I find you on my pillow when you're tired?
Will I love your muddy paw prints when you chase a butterfly
From garden through the kitchen when the floor wax isn't dry?
Will I love you when you're shedding and all day I vacuum hair?
When in digging, you demolish ten begonias raised with loving care?
Will I love you just past midnight when I let you out and then
I let you in, then let you out, then let you in again?
Will I love you when you're lunching on a forty-dollar shoe?
(True, you didn't touch the other, but I sort of needed two.)
The day you ate the birthday cake will I forgive? forget?
Oh how much will I love you when I have to pay the vet
For binding up with tenderness that nasty gash
You got while decorating the lawn with all our trash?
Will I love you when you're sandy, dripping water from the beach?
As I chase you 'cross the carpet and you stay just out of reach?
At these times let me remember how cute you look today
And sigh and tell you -- I love you anyway.
(From the Internet - author unknown)
RECIPE CORNER - Jack's Favorite Treats
If your Lab is on a special/restricted diet and there are no
commercial treats available that qualify, make your own using
the canned version of their food.
Use a can opener to remove both ends of the can. Slide the dog
food out and slice into 1/4" rounds.
Place on parchment paper or foil and place in a 200 degree oven
until the top is crisp, turn over and continue cooking until
Place slices on the racks of a food dehydrator until crunchy.
If they turn out too thin and crumbly, slice a little thicker.
It's well worth the effort when your special friends see you
reach for their 'treats'.
These must be stored in the refrigerator!
Submitted by LABMED board member Linda Bagby
WHAT IS LABMED?
Who we are; what we do?
LABMED is a unique organization, conducting all its daily business over
the Internet. This includes the important task of processing applications
for funding of Labs in need of medical treatment, fund-raising activities
such as our on-line auction, outreach and public information via our
self-maintained web site and our public relations efforts, administrative
tasks such as the review and revision of our funding guidelines, and much
Internet access and proficiency in e-mail is a requirement for LABMED
board members as they can often spend more than 15 or 20 hour per week
online. A private e-mail listserve exists for the Board's use to conduct
daily business. All of the online services LABMED employs are donated to the
organization, so we can maximize the effects of cash donations received
throughout the year. LABMED is an all-volunteer organization with no paid
For a better understanding of how LABMED goes about the funding process,
we'll walk you through the steps that are taken to decide a funding request.
The request for assistance comes to LABMED's secretary, Dranda Whaley, via
an email message automatically generated by our web page server after the
applicant has filled out the online application for assistance. The
application ensures that we get all the pertinent details of the Lab's
situation: his or her current location, physical and medical condition(s),
recommended treatment, prognosis for recovery, whether a Lab Rescue
organization is involved, and many other details. LABMED bases its decision
to fund on the contents of the application and the answers to additional
e-mail questions asked after initial review of the application.
E-mail is not the only method LABMED relies upon to collect applications.
Faxed copies of the application are accepted, if the applicant does not have
access to e-mail. In cases like these, LABMED can fax a blank application
form for the applicant to complete and return. The form is then encoded into
electronic format for all the board members to review via e-mail.
The board reviews each candidate against a set of funding guidelines.
can view these guidelines on our web site at www.labmed.org/aid_guidelines.html .
A discussion and "question and answer" period begins upon receipt of an
application. During this time, the applicant Lab is assessed to determine if
its needs fall within our guidelines. Often, additional questions are
brought forward by one or more LABMED board members, requesting more
information about the medial treatment costs, explicit breakdowns of the
estimates, and whether a "rescue discount" has been requested of the
attending vet. LABMED also needs to make sure the applicant dog is a Labrador Retriever or an acceptable Lab-mix. Clear photos of the dog are
required before any funding decisions can be made. Additionally, the
treating veterinarian is contacted for his or her thoughts on the dog's breed,
temperament, condition and prognosis.
Once the answers to any outstanding questions have been received,
discussion of the application is finalized and a consensus is reached on funding. A motion is made to the board by a board member, a vote is called,
and the members have up to 48 hours to vote. A simple majority of the
available board members is needed for a motion to pass. Once the
voting has been completed, the applicant is notified of the board's decision
and if funding is granted, payment details are arranged. A faxed or mailed
copy of the veterinary bills is required before a check can be issued.
LABMED's interest in a funded Lab doesn't stop with sending the check,
however. We strive to keep tabs on all of our "alumni" dogs and to update
our web page success stories as new and exciting word is received of a dog's
recovery and adoption.
We hope you have enjoyed this "behind the scenes" look at LABMED. As of
the end of the first quarter of 2002, LABMED has funded 366 dogs for a total of $148,896.30! ! Our success is due totally to the generosity of supporters like you, who have helped LABMED remain solvent while funding medical procedures that would otherwise be beyond the financial means of the rescuers. Our all-volunteer
staff means that all of the funds raised by LABMED go directly to support our
mission of providing emergency medical care for rescued Labrador Retrievers.
For information about the very latest LABMED activities, please visit us
often at www.labmed.org
(Adapted from an article by Jim Groenke and Joanna Norman in the January
LABMED Calendar: April - June, 2002
April 10 - 12 LABMED booth at the Specialty Show of the Labrador
Club of the Potomac
April 12 drawing at the Potomac show for the hand-made black Lab
donated by Sue Erickson
April 21 Marathoners run for LABMED!
May 5 LABMED booth at the Chester County, PA, SPCA Walk for Paws
May 10 - 11 Miami Valley LRC Specialty, Hamilton OH (possible LABMED
June 14 - 15 LABMED booth at the Winnebago Labrador Retriever Club