What You Need to Know About Kennel Cough
As a pet parent, the health of our dogs is highly important to us. While some things are unpreventable, kennel cough is a very preventable sickness.
What is kennel cough?Also called canine infectious respiratory disease, it is a highly contagious cough. It is most commonly thought of as the equivalent of a human cold. The bacteria thought to be the primary cause is Bordetella bronchiseptica, but other bacteria can contribute to the severity of the symptoms. This infection is spread by coughing and sneezing, direct contact with sick dogs, or human touch after touching an infected dog. Unfortunately, the germs causing this sickness can live and linger in places for weeks.
What are the risk factors?
The most common places dogs can pick up the disease are from boarding kennels, groomers, dog parks, or anywhere dogs congregate and frequent. If your dog, who has not been vaccinated, comes into contact with a dog who carries the disease, they are at high risk. Dogs are social animals, and love to rub noses. In this case, however, it exposes the dog to direct contact. Colder temperatures and travel-induced stress can cause the symptoms and infection to become worse and linger.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom is a persistent cough that has force behind it. It usually sounds like the dog is choking or honking. Occasionally, dogs will have sneezing, a runny nose, and/or eye discharge. Generally, dogs will not lose their appetite or energy levels. However, if your dog is lethargic and not eating, and showing these symptoms, be cautious and head to your vet before things get worse.
What kind of treatments are available?
Kennel cough usually will resolve on its own. Medications available from your vet can help speed recovery and minimize symptoms. These usually come in the form of antibiotics. Recovery time is generally three to six weeks, with older dogs or dogs with other medical conditions on the higher end of recovery time.
What is available to prevent this from affecting my dog?
Here at Jeffers, we carry a variety of preventative vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica and other causes of kennel cough.
Here are a few below: