Understanding Kennel Cough and Its Symptoms

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Kennel cough is a fairly common and highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs. It is also known as Infectious Tracheobronchitis. It is easily spread when dogs are in close contact with infected dogs, such as; kennels, veterinary hospitals or other boarding situations. Kennel cough may be caused by a variety of disease agents, either singly or in combination with each other.

While the cough may sound serious, this disease is often harmless and dogs recover uneventfully in a week or so. Symptoms may last as long as 20 days.

What causes kennel cough?  Several different viruses and airborne bacteria cause kennel cough. The most common are parainfluenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and mycoplasma. It is possible that canine adenovirus, reovirus, and canine herpes virus may also contribute. In most cases of kennel cough, the disease is multifaceted and will include a combination of bacterial and viral agents.

Symptoms:Your dog may have kennel cough if your dog sounds like it is trying to clear its throat whenever it coughs. If you also notice your dog coughing whenever it is exercising or doing some other physical activity, your dog may have kennel cough. The symptoms of kennel cough typically appear a few weeks after your dog has been exposed to other dogs with kennel cough or has inhaled the disease-causing virus or bacteria.

If your dog’s coughing is severe, your dog may cough continuously and even throw up food or mucus. Take note of the color of the mucus, as its color will indicate the severity of your dog’s condition. White mucus is not so severe while green mucus is more serious. If your dog’s coughs are accompanied by green mucus, take your dog to the veterinarian right away.

Can humans catch kennel cough from their dogs?  The answer is no.

Can my cat catch kennel cough from my dog? The answer is no.

My dog was diagnosed with kennel cough. Can my other dog catch it?  YES,  ABSOLUTLY! Try keeping your dogs separated for about a week and a half.  Kennel cough needs to be treated with antibiotics, its an upper respitory infection. Don’ t have the puppy/ dog near any other dogs..it is very contagious.

What are some things I can do to prevent this from happening again?  The best prevention is not to expose your dogs to other dogs, especially if they are puppies or have other illnesses. However, dog socialization is frequently necessary and can also be beneficial for your dog. The intranasal kennel cough vaccine is recommended twice a year for all dogs that attend shows, or are boarded. The vaccine provides immunization within 72 hours. If you know your dog will be in contact with several other dogs, it is best to have the dog vaccinated a week prior to their exposure.

How long does it take for kennel cough to go away?  Kennel Cough typically lasts 1 to 2 weeks and your dog will normally be as active and eat the same as she always has.


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