Kennel cough is a nasty lung infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella Bronchiseptica.
This bacteria is found in the throat, upper airways and nose in dogs.
Strangely enough, just because the bacteria is present does not always mean a dog will get the condition known as kennel cough.
The bacteria will only lead to kennel cough in situations where the dog is stressed, or when the bacteria is combined with other bacteria — such as parainfluenza virus, canine adenovirus, or mycoplasma.
Here are the symptoms and treatments for kennel cough — what to look for, how to prevent it, and how to treat it…
Kennel Cough Symptoms:
1. The dog has a dry, non-productive cough.
2. When the dog coughs, it sounds as though something is stuck in his throat.
3. After the dry hacking cough, the dog retches and coughs up a foamy white discharge.
Here’s what kennel cough sounds like:
How Dogs Get Kennel Cough
Your dog can get kennel cough in a number of ways.
It’s called kennel cough because it is typically associated with dogs who have been boarded in a kennel, but your dog can get it just from being around another dog who has it.
Kennel cough is an airborne disease and if a dog who has kennel cough is around other dogs, then when he coughs he can send the bacteria into the air for your dog to breathe in and thus catch kennel cough.
The bacteria that causes kennel cough thrives in dusty, smoky environments and cold temperatures. Therefore, if your dog is in the company of a dog with kennel cough under those types of environmental conditions, then your dog’s chances of getting kennel cough are greater.
Keep in mind, it can take 5 to 10 days after exposure for a dog to show symptoms of kennel cough. So, even if you initially think your dog wasn’t around other dogs recently, think back to any time during the last week or so and you may discover your culprit.
How To Prevent Kennel Cough
I’ll bet you’re wondering what you can do to keep your dog from getting kennel cough, right?
Fortunately, there are 2 vaccines that your vet can administer to your dog.
One of the vaccines is intranasal and the other is injectable.
The intranasal vaccine is more effective than the injectable vaccine, because the intranasal vaccine stimulates immunity in the nose and sinus area where the bacteria first enters — ideally, stopping it altogether. The intranasal vaccine takes up to 4 days before your dog will have a solid immune response.
The injectable vaccine is a bit less effective than the intranasal one because it doesn’t stimulate immunity at the entry site.
While these vaccines do lessen the chances of your dog getting kennel cough, they are not 100% effective. Your dog could still get kennel cough even if he has been vaccinated, but the kennel cough would be a version that is not as virulent.
One final thing to keep in mind is that if your dog is already infected with kennel cough, then getting him vaccinated after the fact will do no good.
How To Treat Kennel Cough
Generally speaking, most healthy dogs recover from kennel cough on their own in a couple of weeks. There are also home remedies for kennel cough.
In addition, you can try these kennel cough treatments:
- Pediatric Robitussin & Vicks in the vaporizer
- Homeopathic treatments for kennel cough in dogs
- Natural treatments for kennel cough
- Home remedies for kennel cough
Kennel Cough Can Lead To Other Illnesses
Kennel cough is not the end of the world if your dog gets it. But, it is important to pay attention to your dog’s symptoms, because kennel cough can develop into pneumonia.
If your dog’s cough gets worse and/or he becomes listless, refuses to eat, and runs a fever, chances are good that he may have developed pneumonia. You will want to get your dog to the vet right away.
While it is rare, some dogs have died from kennel cough after it turned into pneumonia.
Some of my favorite things to write about are topics that have to do with living green, saving money, pregnancy, weddings, and dogs. When I’m not writing, I love to spend time with my husband, read, create 3D artwork and Native American beadwork.