What Is Kennel Cough in Dogs? Symptoms and Prevention!
4 December, 2017
kennel cough in dogs

Kennel is cough is a highly contagious respiratory illness in dogs.  Kennel cough is usually accompanied by a loud cough and sounds like your dog is hacking away or as if he choking on something.  Kennel cough is usually brought on by dogs that have been boarded.  Although kennel cough can sound terrible, most of the time it is not a serious condition, and most dogs will recover without treatment.

The symptoms of Kennel Cough usually include:

Dry hacking cough which sounds like honking, vomiting or retching, watery nasal discharge.

Fever. If your dog develops a fever, he probably has contracted a more severe form of the disease. Some dogs with Kennel Cough appear perfectly normal and healthy, other than the fact that they are coughing all the time. But a low-grade fever indicates that his body is hard at work trying to fight off infection.

If your dog has any of the above symptoms, make sure to see your veterinarian immediately.

The most common cause of kennel cough is when your dog is boarded.

Most of the time kennel cough is caused by your dog being at a boarding facility where your dog is in contact with a number of other dogs. One of more of many disease or illnesses can be contracted if a sick dog is not boarded separately once one dog has kennel cough.  Dogs catch kennel cough when they inhale bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract.

Exposure to crowded and/or poorly ventilated conditions, cold temperatures, exposure to dust or cigarette smoke, travel-induced stress can also cause Kennel cough.

Treatment for kennel cough

Depending on the severity of the infection and the severity of the symptoms, there are two main types of treatments that can be given for Kennel cough. In the most common and uncomplicated type of disease, there is generally no need for antibiotics.

If your dog is alert, but has only minor symptoms along with the recurrent cough, then it is often left alone to go through the course of the disease, just like the colds in humans. Most of the time an anti-inflammatory will be given to your dog in order to reduce the severity and frequency of coughing episodes and to make your dog more comfortable.

Antibiotics will be used if your dog is not eating, is running a fever, and is showing signs of severe respiratory troubles, as this may indicate pneumonia.

Most dogs recover from Kennel cough in 3 – 4 weeks

Most dogs recover from Kennel Cough within 3-4 weeks. If a dog has a compromised immune system, is a young puppy or a senior, it may take up to 6 weeks for a complete recovery. However, the dog may still be a carrier of the disease for several weeks after he has recovered.

Preventing kennel cough

In order to prevent this disease, it is recommended that you not expose your dog to kennel like or boarding conditions, where large populations of dogs are contained and mixed together. Getting recommendations from people you trust and reading online reviews is just your first step. Get a tour of the facility so that you can make sure it looks neat and clean, is sanitized regularly, properly, and thoroughly.  If your dog may have come in contact with another dog, object, or facility that you suspect may be contaminated, bring your pup to the vet right away.

Talk to your veterinarian to make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and if they need one when boarded.

Kennel Cough isn’t usually contagious for humans; however, there are instances where young kids and adults with a weak immune system are at risk for infection.

Want to know how to keep your dog’s healthy this winter??


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