Kennel cough symptoms are particularly distressing for dogs with the condition very contagious. The treatment for the condition can vary but on this page we have focused primarily on the causes and how it affects your beloved pooch. The condition is also known as infectious canine tracheobronchitis and the main cause is due to a bacteria known as Bordetella bronchiseptica (although a culmination of bacteria can also cause the condition).
It is also possible for your dog or puppy to get the health problem more than once due to the viruses varying at each outbreak. There is a vaccine for the illness and this will be discussed in more detail here. Anyway lets go into a little more detail on how this illness is transmitted, how it can be prevented and of course the signs and symptoms of the illness.
As previously mentioned kennel cough is highly contagious and is passed from dog to dog when they are in close contact. The most common place for dogs to be in close contact is when they are in boarding kennels. The disease can also be caught when dogs are appearing in Shows - basically whenever they are under the same roof. However, having said this it is also possible for an individual dog to contract the illness.
Your dog will become infected by the illness when he has breathed in infected airborne particles - just like a human cold virus or Flu is transmitted. The most common time of year or a dog to become infected by the illness is during the Summer - this is mainly because dog owners are on holiday and lots of dogs are housed under the same roof in a boarding kennel.
Signs and Symptoms
Kennel cough symptoms include constant coughing - not just a cough but a really hacking dry cough. Most adult dogs will continue to eat quite normally with a relatively normal appetite however if a puppy gets the illness it can be very serious and can lead to a secondary illness - Pneumonia. This is very serious and can lead to death.
If you think that your dog or puppy has the condition do not take him to a crowded vet clinic as this will only transmit the illness to other dogs in the same clinic. Remember kennel cough symptoms are very similar to the symptoms dogs get in old age. Telephone your vet first and explain the symptoms as it might be more sensible for the vet to do a home visit. Avoiding other dogs will include walking your pooch near other animals, attending puppy or dog training classes and of course dog shows. Watch for the early signs - if your pooch has pulled on th leash and starts coughing then you know this isn't kennel cough - however if it continues then it might be. Always get expert advice if you have any doubts whatsoever.
If you are out walking your dog and you hear any other dog close by coughing then do not allow that dog to approach your pet it just isn't worth the risk. The most common method to prevent the illness is through a vaccine that the vet will administer directly up the nasal passage (a nasal spray). Due the disease being spread by infected airborne particles the vaccine is sprayed where the disease will enter i.e. the nose. The vaccine will then protect against the most common bacterial cause - Bordetella bronchiseptica.
The vaccine will normally protect your dog for six up to nine months but an annual booster may also be necessary to protect your pet. After the vaccine has been administered try and keep your dog stress free as added stress can reactivate the illness. Too much exercise can also reactivate the condition so bear this in mind when you are walking your pet.
It is important that you take your pooch to the vet for regular vaccinations and health checks. If you are planning on going on holiday make sure that your dog is not showing any kennel cough symptoms before you take him to the boarding kennels. It is also important that you have had your pooch vaccinated with the nasal spray before he is housed with other dogs. It is always a good idea to ask the boarding home lots of questions about how strict they are on enforcing that all dogs are vaccinated against the illness before they accept the animal.
If they are not strict then do not let your pet stay there - look around and make sure you are 100% happy with the boarding house before you (A) leave your pooch there and (B) pay them. We would also advise you to do background checks on the boarding kennel - ask the owner questions - have a couple of visits - if you notice dogs coughing then don't use their services. We always advise owners to go by recommendation as you can then be fairly sure that the service is safe and acceptable.
1.Kennel Cough Treatment: A Complete guide to conventional, natural and home remedies for the treatment of Kennel Cough.