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Dogs & Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough (canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Dogs can spread it to one another through direct contact, airborne droplets, or contaminated surfaces such as toys, water or food bowls, etc. The ease of transmission of this disease is why it spreads so easily in places like dog parks, doggy daycares, training groups, and more.


Signs of Kennel Cough


A dog with kennel cough may display one or more of these symptoms

  • A strong cough with a honking sound

  • Runny nose

  • Sneezing

  • Lethargy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Low fever

Dogs with kennel cough should be isolated from other dogs and kept at home until they have been symptom-free for two weeks.


What if my Dog has Kennel Cough?


A lot of dogs will only see mild symptoms. Puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with underlying health issues are at a higher risk for more severe symptoms and secondary infections. More severe cases will need veterinarian prescribed medication(s) to ease and treat the symptoms.


While your dog has kennel cough it's suggested to use a harness instead of a leash so as not to further irritate their trachea and cause more coughing.


If your dog needs to see a veterinarian please remember to tell them you suspect kennel cough so they can take appropriate precautions to limit potential exposure to other dogs.


Should I Take my Dog to the Vet?


Most dogs with kennel cough experience mild symptoms that don't need veterinarian prescribed medication(s). If you think your dog is uncomfortable or struggling call your veterinarian, discuss options with them, and schedule an appointment if needed.


Kennel cough is easily treatable but does have a lot of the same symptoms as the canine distemper virus which is much more serious. There are other conditions that can present with similar symptoms such as collapsing trachea, bronchitis, asthma, and even heart disease. If in doubt, just call your veterinarian.


Can Kennel Cough be Prevented?


A bordetella vaccine is available in oral, intranasal, and injectable forms. It's usually required for dogs at dog boarding facilities, doggy daycares, dog sports, etc.


This vaccine is sort of like the human flu vaccine where it's advised to help decrease symptoms or avoid the ailment altogether, but it doesn't necessarily cover every strain.


If you ever have any questions about your dog's health or are seeking to understand something related or potentially related to your dog's health, don't be afraid to reach out to your veterinarian and get your questions answered.


Kennel cough coughing dog

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