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What is Kennel Cough?

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Janet Johns
What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel Cough in dogs is the every day name for tracheobronchitis or Bordetalla. It is an infection of the respiratory tract and only affects dogs. It is almost like a dog cold, if you like, and can be treated and cured after the dog contracts it by inhaling bacteria and virus particles. Like with a cold, it is highly contagious, particularly because dogs can’t take the steps to keeping it from spreading like humans can with a cold. But it is common and easily treated and shouldn’t impact dog life expectancy, so there isn’t too much to worry about if your dog gets it, at least not officially.

Which Dogs/Breeds Are at High Risk of Kennel Cough?

As mentioned above, Kennel Cough in dogs resembles a human cold, so the likelihood that your dog will get infected at one stage in their lives is high, regardless of the breed. No dog is ‘safe’ from it and full immunity doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t dog demographics that are more in danger of it. Pregnant dogs and older dogs are most at risk of the individual groups, while it is spread more where there is a greater number of dogs in one place, which seems fairly obvious, and why it had got its common name common name ‘Kennel Cough’. Dog daycares, grooming facilities and dog homes are where it is most contagious and your dog is most at risk of infection, so keep that in mind.

Kennel Cough symptoms

Symptoms of Kennel Cough in dogs are very similar to the human cold, which makes it very easy to diagnose, even before you head to the vets for treatment. It starts with a cough that sounds like a honking noise, while your dog may also produce green discharge and cough up phlegm, which gets worse after exercise so it is important you’re allowing your dog to rest at all times. In more severe cases, by which point you need to consult with your vet, pneumonia, loss of appetite or general lethargy can become an issue. Perhaps you should take a look at dog insurance companies.

Kennel Cough treatment

Time is the great healer for mild Kennel Cough, and if you allow the illness to run its course, it will disappear eventually. But it won’t be a pleasant experience for your dog to go through; if you are really worried, then vets will prescribe antibiotics as a precaution. If things get worse, with the aforementioned pneumonia, then take your dog to the vet and they will take over the treatment. Remember to keep them rested and, while sleeping, keep anything away from their neck that could restrict airflow. They’ll find it tough enough to breath as it is.

Kennel Cough Vaccine

Don’t worry, there are ways to battle against Kennel Cough in dogs before it strikes. The best way is to get your dog vaccinated at the vets. There are three types of Kennel Cough vaccine for your dog; injection, nasal and oral. They are topped up every year for regular dogs, but if your pup is high risk, it is suggested you make the dreaded trip to the vets every six months instead. The Bortedella part of the vaccine can take three days to become effective, so keep this in mind if you are taking your dog to a place where it’ll mingle. Oral and nasal vaccines are more effective than injections, but it is important to remember that the vaccine doesn’t guarantee your dog won’t get sick, rather it’ll reduce the risk, and it won’t do anything about existing infections.

Kennel Cough Sound

The sound of Kennel Cough in dogs is really unpleasant and you may think it’s something worse than it is. It sounds like a honking noise, rather high pitched.