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stemnyjones's avatar

Puppies sick in hurricane - home remedies?

Asked by stemnyjones (3959 points ) August 28th, 2012

We rescued a litter of 5 puppies (approx. 2–3 months old) off the street. Owner of mother dog didn’t want them so let them roam, but they almost got hit by a car.

Besides intestinal worms and fleas, they seemed perfectly healthy.

Today we bathed them in Dawn for fleas and put them back in the yard. A few hours later when we went to get them to put them in the kennel, they were making a rasping, coughing sound. They continually made it when they got excited, except for one, who seemed to do it almost constantly.

Just now when I let them out to potty, they seemed a little disoriented. It’s hard to tell because it’s dark, but it seemed that some of their steps were off.

I live in Louisiana, and the hurricane is supposed to hit in a few hours. The vets offices will be closed until Friday at least, and my internet will be down in the next 24 hours.

Is there anything I can do for these puppies until the vets office reopens? They haven’t come in contact with any other dogs or puppies since we got them, approx. 5 days ago… I’m not sure what it is they have, but it came on very suddenly at the very worst time.

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15 Answers

_Whitetigress's avatar

Keep them warm that is key. Also what are they eating? They will need alot of love and attention. They still long to see their mother, it’s their instinct, so being around will help calm them down. I wonder what age they truly are? Feed them prime time puppy food. Not like cheap 1$ canned foods. Anyhow, good luck! Poor things.

DigitalBlue's avatar

Sounds like it might be kennel cough, do they have other symptoms? Runny nose, gunky eyes? If you can’t take them to a vet, just try to keep them warm and dry and offer them plenty of fresh water. Otherwise, i don’t know of a whole lot else that can be done at home.

Bellatrix's avatar

I thought kennel cough as soon as I read your post. I don’t know anything about how to care for the pups though. Hopefully our resident vet will be about. Good on you for taking them in @stemnyjones and nice to see you. It feels like a long time since I have seen your painty face.

stemnyjones's avatar

@_Whitetigress They are eating dog chow (unfortunately…. we have 3 adult dogs in a seperate area so we already had the chow, and we kind of drained our funds preparing for the hurricane). To entice them (because they were still suckling off their mother as well), I have occasionally put something on top of the food… canned cooked carrots, chicken noodle soup, etc. They are getting plenty of love and attention from me, my fiance, and my 3 year old, and up until they got sick a few hours ago, they were rambunctious and playful, zooming around the yard and everything. Their age is a guess, but here’s a picture, it might help: http://i.imgur.com/XuvsX.jpg

@DigitalBlue When they first started the coughing, I checked them and there was no runny nose or gunky eyes. Unfortunately it’s 2 in the morning now and a little hard to check them. So far the only symptoms are the cough/wheezing, disorientation, and the smallest one (whose always been a little more clingy) actually didn’t come out of the kennel right away just now like the other ones did. It took a little coaxing to get him out.

@Bellatrix Yeah, haha, thanks.. been busy. I thought kennel cough was viral, though… could they have just developed it, without coming into contact with any other dogs? Not doubting your answer at all, just curious..

Bellatrix's avatar

@stemnyjones This is from Wikipedia. I really don’t know anything about it though. I hope it’s nothing serious.

Both virus and bacterial causes of kennel cough are spread through the air by infected dogs sneezing and coughing. It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces and through direct contact. It is highly contagious, even days or weeks after symptoms disappear.

stemnyjones's avatar

On a seperate note, I know that as far as humans go at least, the idea that going outside with wet hair, etc, can give you a cold or get you sick is a myth. Being cold lowers your immune system, but colds/flu/pneumonia are viruses and cannot simply develop because your outside with wet hair.

I am feeling really, really guilty about leaving them outside after bathing them, but I figured it was warm enough out to keep them from being uncomfortable, and they certainly seemed fine – went right back to playing with me and each other the minute they got out the bath. I’m hoping that couldn’t have caused it, because it will weigh hard on my conscious if we rescued these puppies, then got them sick, and they all pass away because of it before the vets offices reopen. Does anyone know if they could have possibly gotten sick because of that? It would be really good to know for future reference…

Bellatrix's avatar

I am sure giving them a bath and putting them outside to dry didn’t cause this. Hopefully they are fine. I hope you can get them to a vet soon so you aren’t worrying.

DigitalBlue's avatar

Are they going to be outside in the rain?

stemnyjones's avatar

@DigitalBlue No, besides when we have to let them out to go potty.

DigitalBlue's avatar

Okay, that’s good, at least. I wouldn’t think being out in the rain and dampness would be good.. but when you said it was hard to check on them so late, I wondered.
Think of it not unlike a human cold. When you are sick with a miserable cold and cough, and can’t take any medicine, what makes you feel better is being warm and dry and comforted. That’s about all that you can do for now. It may clear up on its own, but, with so many puppies there’s a chance they’ll just keep passing it back and forth, so you will probably end up having to take them to a vet.
Good of you to take them in, I hope you’re able to find great homes for all of the little babies once they are well.

rooeytoo's avatar

Sounded like kennel cough until you got to the disoriented part, that is not associated with kc as far as I know. That makes me think of parvo, but under the circumstances you have to go with what you can. My old vet back in USA always said give them baby cough medicine, infant dose and hope for the best. KC in a normal healthy dog is like a bad cold in a human except once they get it they don’t usually ever get it again. In pups and older or sicky dogs can be more of a problem. I would try the cough med, can’t hurt and might do the trick. Good luck on the hurricane, I have been through 3 cyclones and I know it is not fun.

stemnyjones's avatar

Just to let you guys know, it seems that they may not have been disoriented last night – it may have just been because they were sleepy or something, because this morning they are walking around fine. In fact, although they are still coughing (though not NEARLY as bad as before), they were able to run around like little tornados without stopping to cough or having to rest often. The winds are finally picking up and bringing in the clouds, so they are inside now, in their kennel in the bathroom. I also gave them one of my daughter’s less-played-with stuffed animals (made sure it didn’t have plastic eyes or bead stuffing or anything) and put the radio on quietly in there for them, so that while we are not in there they hopefully won’t feel so lonely. I don’t know that they’ve ever been inside before.

stemnyjones's avatar

Good news everyone. All of the puppies are fine. After the second day, they completely stopped coughing. Unfortunately, just today everything was supposed to open back up, but then we had a surprise flash flood warning, and road closures, so they still haven’t gotten to the vet… but in the meantime, they seem perfectly healthy, and one even got adopted. :)

rooeytoo's avatar

That’s good news!

DigitalBlue's avatar

@stemnyjones oh good, happy to hear it. :)

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