Dog ate chocolate?

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Stuffed up dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: Spayed Female Chihua
Age: 11-15 years
We are a foster home/rescue home for dogs. We brought in a new foster two weeks ago with the sniffles. (All my dogs are UTD shots). Last night my Chihuahua suffered severe congestion, weasing and and the shivers. Today seems lethargic. Upon contacting the rescue, they said "Oh yes, by the way, Kennel cough is going around. You may want to prevent bronchitis." To me, this sounds like an upper resp. infection. I have started her on lincocin aquadrops and have given her 1/4 a tablespoon of Robitussin DM (upon recomendation of the rescue). I don't want to over medicate her, but she is 13 years old and feels so sick. What can I do to get rid of this congestion and make her feel more comfortable?

Thank you in advance;

Jen & Rosie

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Jen and thanks for your question!

Sorry to hear that Rosie is not feeling well.

We don't tend to see upper respiratory infections in dogs like we do in cats. The only viral condition we see that would cause these symptoms is indeed kennel cough. While some dogs have a cough with kennel cough many will have a stuffed up nose and will simply feel crummy just like when we come down with a bad cold or flu.

You are doing the right things. Kennel cough generally does go away on its own. It usually takes a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if Rosie is really not feeling well, or if she has a green nasal discharge or if she is not eating for more than 24 hours then she may need to see a vet to get some prescription medications to help.

There are other possible reasons for a dog to have nasal congestion and not feel well. These include a bacterial or fungal infection in the nose, a tumor in the nose (although this shouldn't come on all of a sudden), or a tooth root infection. A tooth root infection is indeed a real possibility. The large upper chewing tooth can often become infected in little dogs. It can sometimes be hard to tell. If the root is infected it can cause pus and debris to fill up in the nose and can be very painful. Unfortunately if it is a tooth root infection then she will need to have that tooth extracted by a vet.

I really hope she feels better soon. You can possibly help relieve some congestion by putting her in the bathroom next to a steamy shower for about 10 minutes.

From what you have described though it sounds like she should really be seeing a veterinarian.

I hope all goes well!

Dr. Marie.

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Customer reply:

Thanks Dr. Marie;

I called my vet and they are calling it Upper Resp., so I think I am a bit confused. It is considered the same as Kennel Cough?

We have 7 dogs right now (some foster, some permanant), and they all have the sniffels but two.

I'm pretty sure it's not a tooth, but I really appreicate the information. Rosie was rescued from a puppy mill about a year ago and most of her teeth were removed. She can only eat soft food as well.

Would it be okay to get one of those Vicks Vaporizors with the menthol (I think thats what they are called)? I read online someone did that, but I was not sure if it could be poison to dogs.

Thanks again;

Jen and Rosie

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome Jen.

I re-read my reply and it does sound a little confusing about the upper respiratory infection. What I was trying to say is that the only viral thing that could cause upper respiratory signs in dogs is indeed kennel cough. "Upper respiratory" simply means that the symptoms are limited to the nose and throat rather than in the lungs.

Given that some of the other dogs are having symptoms as well kennel cough sounds likely. The vast majority of dogs get over it on their own so hopefully your crew will be ok!

I think I know what you are talking about with the vaporizer - it is like a humidifier that spreads menthol into the air? This is not likely to be toxic at all, so go ahead and give it a try.

Rosie is lucky to have you! I hope she does well!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

Thank you Dr. Marie!

Thanks for clairifying that. It makes sense now. My last question reagrding this same subject is her "Chills". Rosie is never cold (you know how some Chihuahua's always shiver? She never does). So, are the Shivers Rosie is having a direct result of the kennel cough?

You have really been a life savor. We found you in Woman's World Magazine and will be bookmarking you to use again. If you don't mind, I will pass along your site to all my rescue friends.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Again, you're very welcome and thank you for the kind words!

I am wondering if the chills are because she is feeling feverish? It is the chills that make me wonder if she needs to see a vet. Dogs can sometimes have shivering if they are in pain as well.

Is she eating? If so she probably doesn't have a fever and you can likely hold off on a vet visit. But if not it is probably a good idea to have her seen.

I would love referrals to your friends! I have really enjoyed creating this website and am thrilled to be able to help people out! Eventually the price may go up a little but not a whole lot.

Have a good night!

Dr. Marie.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.