Dog health & Nutrition

Kennel Cough in Dogs: Symptoms,Treatment & Prevention

What Is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough, medically termed tracheobronchitis, is a contagious respiratory disorder. This disease causes infectious coughing in dogs that can be very severe in some cases. This infection develops in the trachea or bronchitis, hence the name tracheobronchitis.

Kennel cough in dogs is caused by various bacteria and viruses like the bacterium Bordetella, adenovirus type-2, canine coronavirus and parainfluenza virus.

How Does a Dog Catch Kennel Cough?

Most dogs contract this disease when the infectious virus enters the respiratory tract and gets trapped in the mucus membrane. The situation occurs when they are exposed to other dogs, like in dog parks, daycare centers or kennels. This infection spreads through airborne droplets carrying pathogens released from a sick dog. And also by touching other dogs while sniffing or sharing the same food or water bowls.

Some of the other factors that increase the likelihood of your dog getting kennel cough include:

  • Cold temperatures
  • Humidity
  • Smoke
  • Stress

What Are the Major Symptoms of Kennel Cough?

What Are the Major Symptoms of Kennel Cough?
Kennel Cough in Dogs

The kennel cough sounds like a “goose honk” that is different from a normal canine cough. The symptoms of kennel cough vary, but the honking cough continues for several weeks. The tracheobronchitis cough is initiated when the dog’s throat is rubbed often during exercise.

The other major signs of kennel cough include:

  •  Runny nose
  •  Swollen throat
  •  Laziness
  •  Sneezing
  •  Discharge from eyes
  •  Mild fever
  •  Reduced appetite

When you observe certain signs of kennel cough, you should report it to your vet as it may be a sign of another disease with similar symptoms. Your vet will carry out a certain test and then prescribe a particular treatment for kennel cough.

What Is the Treatment of Kennel Cough?

In most cases, kennel cough does not require any treatment; still, the vets prescribe antibiotics for kennel cough as it speeds up the recovery. The average recovery time is one to two weeks but can also take more time in severe cases. The honking cough persists till the complete recovery from the disease.

Infectious tracheobronchitis is caused by infections that include viral and bacterial infections. Viral infections have no specific treatment, but the bacterium Bordetella in dogs is treated by some antibiotics that help recover the disease.

How Can We Prevent Kennel Cough?

If you own multiple dogs, then it is advised to keep the other pets away from the sick dog as it is a contagious disease and spreads rapidly. If the dog is suffering from a cough, then prefer using a harness instead of dog collars. A collar may disturb the dog’s trachea when pulled and can initiate a cough that damages the trachea.

Kennel cough vaccines have proved to be beneficial to prevent infectious tracheobronchitis. The vaccine builds up immunity in the dog’s body to fight any virus that enters the body.

This vaccine can be administered in three ways, including nasal drops or injections or oral drops. The vaccine develops immunity in the mucous membrane of the nasal passage and the throat, which are prone to virus attack. The dogs are vaccinated once a year or sometimes twice. The nasal and oral vaccine is more effective than the injected one.


How Long Does Kennel Cough Last?

Kennel cough usually takes two to three weeks, but it can take more than six weeks in severe cases. If the kennel cough persists, it can also lead to pneumonia. If you do not see any improvement, you should report this to your vet.

How to Treat Kennel Cough?

Usually, kennel cough does not require any medicines, just the rest of two or three weeks. The vets also prescribe kennel cough antibiotics that help reduce the symptoms and speed up the recovery.

What Does Kennel Cough Sound Like?

The kennel cough sounds like a” honking goose”.

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