beagle laying down

Kennel Cough

Spotting the signs of kennel cough

Kennel cough is an upper respiratory infection that affects your dog. It is caused by a combination of the canine Para influenza and the bacteria Bordetella Bronchiseptia.

It is contagious and is so named because the infection can spread very quickly among dogs in kennels or shelters.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Incubation period is 3-4 days. Symptoms can include a harsh, dry cough, retching, sneezing, snorting, gagging or vomiting in response to light pressing of the trachea or after excitement or exercise. The disease can last initially from 10–20 days and can put a large amount of stress on the dog’s immune system.

Diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms and a history of recent exposure to other dogs. Bacterial cultures, viral isolation, and blood work can be performed to verify individual agents of the disease, but due to the characteristic nature of the symptoms these tests are not routinely performed. The condition can become more severe with exercise or excitement. Any disturbance to the trachea can cause further issues with this condition.

Treatment and prevention

Antibiotics are normally given to treat Kennels Cough. Prevention is always better than cure so by vaccinating for kennels cough and keeping your dog immune system strong is always best policy. In kennels, the prevention is to keep all the cages disinfected. In some cases, such as Doggie daycare it is usually not a cleaning or disinfecting issue, but rather an airborne issue, as the dogs are in contact with each other’s saliva and breath. Although most kennels require proof of vaccination, the vaccination is not a fail-safe preventative.

Until recently, infectious tracheobronchitis was considered to not be a human health risk. Recently however, research indicates that Bordetella bronchiseptica may cause disease in some humans, primarily those with compromised immune systems. In normal, healthy adults there does not appear to be a risk, but young children and immunocompromised individuals should take precautions against coming into contact with animals that have symptoms of tracheobronchitis.

(Information sourced from multiple Internet resources)