Kennel cough can leave your dog with a dry cough and plenty of discomfort. In this blog, our Ventura vets share some knowledge about kennel cough in dogs and the steps you should take if your pup contracts this condition.
What is Kennel Cough in Dogs?
Infectious Canine Tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough, is a respiratory disease that is common in dogs. The bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine parainfluenza virus typically cause kennel cough, which attacks the lining of a dog's respiratory tract, causing irritation and inflammation. This condition is generally not serious in otherwise healthy dogs; however, it can cause more serious secondary infections in geriatric dogs, young puppies, or dogs with weakened immune systems.
The term kennel cough stems from the highly contagious character of this illness, which makes it spread quickly in areas where pets come into contact with one another like multi-dog households, kennels, and dog parks. Kennel cough is spread when dogs come in contact with the droplets released through the cough of an infected dog. This can be through direct contact with the infected dog or through contact with objects that the infected droplets have landed on such as dog toys, bowls, cages, or blankets.
Kennel Cough Symptoms in Dogs
Signs of kennel cough in dogs include a non-productive persistent dry cough that often sounds like a goose honk, or as if your dog has something stuck in its throat is the main symptom of kennel cough. Other symptoms of kennel cough in dogs could include a lack of energy, a mild fever, sneezing, a runny nose, and a lack of appetite.
If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms separate them from the other dogs in your home and call your vet immediately to get advice.
This condition is incredibly contagious. If your pooch is otherwise healthy and only exhibiting mild symptoms, your vet may suggest keeping them isolated from other pets and providing your pet with several days' rest as you keep an eye on their symptoms.
Although, if your dog has more severe symptoms your vet might ask you to bring them into the office so they can be examined.
Diagnosing Dogs With Kennel Cough
Kennel cough diagnosis is essentially a process of elimination. Because kennel cough symptoms are shared by several more serious conditions, your veterinarian will examine your pet for signs of collapsing trachea, heartworm disease, bronchitis, asthma, cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. Coughing may also indicate the presence of canine distemper virus or canine influenza virus.
Based on the results of your pet's examination and medical history your vet will determine whether kennel cough is the likely cause of your pup's symptoms.
How Kennel Cough in Dogs is Treated
It's usually easy to treat healthy adult dogs for kennel cough. Your vet may decide that no medications are required and that the best treatment for your dog is to rest while the infection runs its course (much like the human cold).
Are your dog's symptoms more severe? Your veterinarian might prescribe antibiotics to help prevent secondary infections or cough suppressants to give your pooch a bit of relief from the continuous coughing.
As your dog recovers, it's best to avoid the use of neck collars and use a body harness instead when you are taking them for walks. You might also want to run a humidifier in rooms where your dog spends most of its time because it could help alleviate its symptoms.
It generally takes one or two weeks for dogs to recover from kennel cough. If your canine companion's symptoms continue for longer than this it's essential to schedule a follow-up appointment with your vet. Sometimes, kennel cough can result in pneumonia.
Preventing Kennel Cough in Dogs
If your dog spends a lot of time with other dogs, talk to your veterinarian about getting him vaccinated against kennel cough. While this vaccine may help prevent kennel cough, it does not guarantee complete protection because kennel cough can be caused by a variety of pathogens.
Three forms of the vaccine are available injection, nasal mist, and oral medication. If the kennel cough vaccine is recommended for your pet, your veterinarian will choose the most appropriate form.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.
Are you concerned about a dry cough your dog has developed? Contact our Ventura vets to schedule a specialty appointment today.
Looking for a veterinary specialist in Ventura?We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
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