Kennel cough is a canine respiratory infection that mostly affects dogs. It is named kennel cough because it conveniently spreads through a kennel and infects every dog. The causative agent for kennel cough is both bacteria and viruses.
The most common bacteria which causes kennel cough in dogs is Bordetella bronchiseptica. It can also be caused by canine influenza or canine distemper viruses. Most people often refer to the infection as Bordetella.
Kennel cough in dogs is contagious. It affects the dog’s bronchial tubes, voice box, trachea, and lungs since the viruses weaken the dog’s immune system and attack the respiratory cells causing inflammation in the upper airway. It is also called tracheobronchitis.
How do I know if my dog has Kennel Cough?
If your dog has a dry cough or releases some choking sounds that won’t go away, it may have already contracted the kennel cough. Since the infection is contagious, dogs contract it from other infected dogs through airborne droplets, especially near a sneezing or coughing dog.
Suppose the dog has directly contacted an infected dog or the infected dog’s objects which are already contaminated, such as a shared drinking water bowl, increase the chance of it acquiring the infection. Kennel cough is treatable but can be fatal for puppies, especially those younger than six months or with very weak immune systems and are unvaccinated.
What are the first symptoms of kennel cough?
The first Kennel cough symptom usually occurs approximately three days to two weeks post-exposure. Its incubation period is 2-14 days, although it may take months for some dogs to produce any signs or symptoms.
The cough is described as loud and unproductive. It sounds like something has stuck in the dog’s throat and is trying to swallow it. This is because of the irritation that the infection causes in the upper airway. The dog may also have a running nose, sneezing, discharge from the eyes, and a slight fever.
Most infected dogs eat normally. Only severe cases lead to loss of appetite and lethargy. It is always advisable to visit a veterinary for some tests to rule out other diseases with symptoms identical to the kennel cough symptoms. The disease includes asthma, cancer, heart disease, and collapsing trachea.
Do Kennel cough go away on its own?
Kennel cough is a mild disease. Although it sounds awful, most dogs recover before any treatment is administered, especially in not severe cases. It may take several weeks to clear up, even six weeks for dogs with a compromised immune system.
Kennel cough can result in pneumonia. Therefore, it’s important to liaise with your vet in case of symptoms persist.
How do you get rid of kennel cough?
Kennel cough treatment mostly involves giving your dog ample time to rest. Mostly two to three weeks of enough sleep helps your dog fight the virus properly. Make sure they drink a lot of warm water mixed with honey to flush out toxins in their body, which helps get rid of the virus faster.
Exposing your dog to steam or adding a humidifier next to its sleeping area helps moisten the air around him, thus relieving the cough. Isolation is also a form of kennel cough treatment as it prevents the dog from infecting other pets.
Always check your dog’s kennel to ensure that it is properly ventilated and clean because a dusty kennel can cause a Kennel cough. The room temperatures should not be cold. Please avoid smoking near your dogs.
Although kennel cough can cure on its own, using the medication can help speed up the recovery period and prevent secondary infection. Your veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic and cough syrup to relieve the cough.
Kennel cough is a very common respiratory disease, and due to this, many dogs suffer from the disease at least once in their lifetimes. Kennel cough vaccines are available for the bordetella bacterium. The vaccines administered are injectable, intranasal, or in oral form. It is important to ensure that your dogs are updated with vaccinations.