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Kennel Cough - Symptoms and
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough in dogs is a highly contagious
upper respiratory infection which can be caused by bacteria
or a virus. The most common form of kennel cough is caused
by the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica. Frequently kennel
cough is caused by a combination of both bacteria and virus. The lining of the trachea and
bronchi become inflamed and when air passes over them it
results in an irritating cough.
What are the symptoms of
Kennel Cough presents as a dry, hacking, coarse
cough, retching and gagging. It often sounds like your dog has
got something caught in the back of his throat and he is
trying to cough it up. Many owners mistakenly think that their
dog has a bone caught in his throat. He may also cough up
white frothy material. The dog is usually quite
well (apart from the cough) with a normal temperature and it
usually engages in its normal
activities. The dog seldom loses its appetite. Coughing can
become worse on exertion and can continue day and night which
can become very distressing for
the dog's owner. The cough can be
produced if you gently press the region of the throat over the
How is kennel cough
Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease. It
transmits to other dogs much the same way as a human cold
transmits in humans through airborne organisms or dog to dog
Incubation Period of Kennel Cough
The incubation period from the time the dog first contracts the infection
to the time that symptoms develop is typically between 3 to 10 days
Kennel cough is so named because it is often
spread in areas where many dogs are confined together such as
boarding kennels or animal shelters. Other at risk situations
are dog groomers, animal hospitals and dog shows. One infected
dog can soon infect many others even if it is not showing any
symptoms of kennel cough at the time.
Treatment of Kennel Cough
Uncomplicated cases of Kennel Cough
usually resolve themselves without any treatment within 7-14
In other words, it your dog has no other symptoms other than
a cough it isn't crucial that you seek veterinary advice.
The cough will go away in a week or two.
To aid the recovery of your dog you should keep
him warm, and reduce any stress. Also remove your dog's collar
and use a harness if you need to restrain him. Encourage him
to drink plenty of water and remember he may have a sore
throat so soft food usually goes down well. Limit exercise and
don't smoke near him.
For symptomatic relief your veterinarian may prescribe a cough
suppressant, nebulizer, or short term steroids. He may also
choose to prescribe antibiotics if the symptoms are severe or
to lessen the chance of a secondary bacterial infection. The
most commonly used antibiotics include Clavamox, trimethoprim
sulfonamide and doxycycline.
Complications of Kennel
Be watchful of your dog developing a raised
temperature, lethargy, loss of appetite, eye and nose
discharge or coughing up green
phlegm as it is sometimes possible that a secondary bacterial
infection can lead to pneumonia.
How is kennel cough
There are two types of vaccine available for
kennel cough, intra-nasal and injection. Discuss with your veterinarian
which would be the most suitable for your dog.
Puppies can be
vaccinated intra-nasally as early as two weeks of age.
(Kennel Cough) vaccine is recommended for dogs that frequently
socialize with groups of other dogs. This includes dogs that go to
obedience classes, dog shows, dog parks, doggy day-care, grooming
facilities, and boarding facilities.
More information on Kennel Cough Vaccination
How often do I need to Vaccinate
my dog against Kennel Cough?
Many of the above facilities require
that you vaccinate your dog every 6-12 months and will require will
require verification of this from your veterinarian.
If your dog is at low
risk for exposure to upper respiratory disease, this is not an essential
or core vaccination.
Many dog boarding facilities will not accept a
dog that has not been vaccinated for Kennel Cough. Remember to
vaccinate your dog a few weeks before boarding him to give
time for the immunity to build up.
article has not been written by a veterinarian & should not
be considered a replacement for a veterinarian visit. The
articles are provided for informative purposes only. While
great care has been made in the creation of these articles,
we cannot guarantee the accuracy or omissions on these
pages. If in any doubt whatsoever, seek professional medical
advice from your veterinarian.