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Healthy Food for Dogs: Homemade Recipes
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World Renown Animal Behaviorist And Radio Talk Show Host, Dr. Dennis Fetko, Dr. Dog Reveals His Proven Dog Training Methods. Stop Barking, Fighting, Biting, Chewing, Digging, Soiling, Jumping, Pulling And More--with No Jerking, Clicking, Or Squirting!
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Kennel Cough - Symptoms and Treatment

Kennel Cough
Kennel Cough

 

 

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?

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 trachea.

How is kennel cough transmitted?

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 contact.

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 days.
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 Cough

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 prevented?

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.

The Bordetella (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.

Other articles:

Rabies Vaccine
DHPP vaccine (Distemper Hepatitis Parvovirus Parainfluenza)
Leptospirosis Vaccine
Lyme Disease Vaccine


 

 

 


 

This 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.

 

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