Kennel cough in dogs is known medically as infectious tracheobronchitis, a type of bronchitis that affects canines. It is most common in kennels because the infection is easily spread among a population of dogs.
The condition is also referred to as bordetella due to the type of bacteria involved. Although this respiratory condition can have many causes, it is often caused by the parainfluenza virus. It is a highly contagious condition characterized by a persistent, hacking cough.
Watch for symptoms
Dogs become infected when they inhale the microorganisms that cause the condition. Visible signs of infection usually occur within three to four days after the dog has been exposed. Although the main symptom is a dry, hacking cough, other symptoms such as eye discharge, sneezing and runny nose may be present.
Kennel cough in dogs is usually not a serious condition and often clears up within a few weeks without treatment. It may take up to six weeks to clear up in older dogs or dogs with other health conditions. Some dogs such as puppies, elderly or pregnant dogs may be more susceptible to the infection and complications such as pneumonia may develop.
Dogs with compromised immune systems are also at a higher risk of infection. Fever and lethargy may develop in severe cases of kennel cough. The majority of severe cases occur in puppies and dogs that have lowered immunity.
Certain factors can increase your dog’s risk of being infected with kennel cough. Risk factors include crowded conditions, cold temperatures, dust, cigarette smoke and stress. It is best to get medical help as soon as possible if you suspect your dog has the infection. Even if your dog is healthy and the condition is not severe, medication can help speed the healing process.
A dog with kennel cough should be isolated to prevent the spread of infection. He should also be kept in a well-humidified area. A veterinarian may send you home with prescriptions for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and an antibiotic.
Conditions should improve within a week or two. If your dog has not made significant progress within six weeks, follow up with the veterinarian. Get to your veterinarian immediately if your dog shows signs of rapid breathing, lack of appetite or listlessness. Such symptoms may indicate a more serious condition such as pneumonia.
Vaccines for bordetella can be given by mouth, nasal mist or injection. The vaccine does not guarantee protection against kennel cough due to the fact that the condition can be caused by so many different bacteria and viruses.
Some people have their dog vaccinated on the theory that a little protection is better than none. Prevention is the best course of action. You can try to avoid boarding your dog in a kennel altogether, especially if the dog is older or has a health condition.
But there is another option for dog lovers who want to avoid the possible coronary and gastric damage from NSAIDs, the killing off of gut-healthy probiotics with antibiotics, and the low efficacy of vaccines.
A 100% natural herbal remedy has been catching a lot of buzz lately. It’s our Primalix KC for Kennel Cough in dogs and cats.
Customers who try it rave about it. They say it works when nothing else will. They say it even helps prevent kennel cough in dogs when given prior to kennel boarding.