Wednesday, January 4, 2012

799. lst case of 2012. A white puppy that coughs like an old man

Jan 3, 2012 10.30 am

My first case of the year. Poodle, Male, 3 months. Bought 7 days ago. Past 3 days, cough as if choked. Some runny nose with clear discharge. Excellent appetite. Had 2 vaccinations. 1 free vaccination voucher from a vet for 3rd vaccination and therefore I don't expect the father to see me for the 3rd vaccination.

The father had phoned for check up and the time. He came in the morning before 12 noon and I was on duty. As regards toilet training, I was surprised that the puppy was so intelligent as he would wait for treats by peeing a little bit first. There was one other case of a "manipulative" puppy reported to me during my over 600 case studies of house-breaking in puppies. One particular puppy I remember well is that this puppy would pick up all the toys and put them in a box when retiring to sleep at night.

"How's the puppy toilet trained?" I asked. The puppy was confined closely for grate training (plastic grate on one half, on top of grated floor, according to the father). He was very kind as to e-mail me 3 pictures of the most handsome "Bichon" I have ever seen and I share them with my readers. The Seller said it was a poodle but I said it looked more like a Bichon.

4935. Crate training and treats for a smart puppy. He would go to the grate and pees a bit waiting for treats!

Examination as follows:
1. General exam - mouth and throat palpation - coughed
2. Detailed exam - opened mouth, puppy resisted, shone white torchlight - no tonsillitis, no ulcers
Auscultation of lungs - no lung sounds

"Overall, the puppy had kennel cough," I said. "It is not serious and he will recover in 10 days' time provided no exertion."

1. What causes kennel cough? A virus and bacteria usually from other dogs inside the breeder's premises. The breeders in Singapore do not vaccinate against kennel cough and so the kennel cough germs persist in the kennels. However they vaccinate the puppies against parvovirus as they have had suffered heavy losses for not doing it. So, most puppies sold in Singapore are immune to parvoviral infections causing severe diarrhoea and vomiting. And deaths."

2. "But the puppy had no cough when we brought her home for the first 3 days," the daughter said. "Many breeders gave the puppy cough mixtures and medication and so the cough was suppressed for the first 3 days," I said. "If the breeder said that the puppy for sale has coughing, the owner will not buy him. So, it is difficult for him to be honest. In your case, the puppy is 3 months old and is stronger and so the kennel cough should not be a big problem. Those puppies at 2 months old suffer more as their immune system may be poorer. Some of them die from pneumonia!"

"The breeder is also selling smaller puppies," the father said. "Size may not be correlated with age," I said.

3. "When should I send my puppy for the 3rd vaccination?" the father had e-mailed me later.
This depends on how fast the puppy recovers. As a guideline, 7-14 days after the puppy has stopped coughing.

Educational Video: Kennel Cough in Puppies produced by two St Andrews' Sec 3
students in collaboration with Dr Sing
I was surprised to meet a busy multinational company employee father and his daughter in junior college and her cousin. Singapore is too small for international corporations to survive if they focus on Singapore for business. Previously, Caucasian expats were employed for regional positions but now are replaced by locals. Which means a lot of travelling and less time for the family. However, children need money if they study overseas and a salaried employee working in Singapore mainly may not be able to afford overseas education for their children. I am always happy to see a busy father bringing the daughter and puppy to see the vet as the Singapore fathers are usually very busy and delegate the duty to the mother!

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