Kennel Cough in Dogs is a disease found in dogs. It is similar to the common cold in humans, but it affects the trachea and bronchial tubes instead of the nose and throat. Kennel cough is found throughout the world, affecting many dogs at least once during their lifetime. Kennel cough is known to be contagious between dogs; however, it can spread by the bacterial called Bordetella bronchiseptica.
Bordetella is a bacterial infection that causes kennel cough. The disease is usually caused by inhaling bacteria or virus particles into the respiratory system. Most dogs who catch kennel cough have been infected with a virus at the same time. These viruses include canine adenovirus, canine distemper virus, canine herpes virus, parainfluenza virus, and canine reovirus.
Young puppies are at risk of suffering the most severe complications due to kennel cough since they have immature immune systems. Also at increased risk are older dogs, which may have decreased immune capabilities; pregnant dogs, which also have lowered immunity; and dogs with preexisting respiratory diseases. Kennel cough can become pneumonia rapidly if not treated promptly.
Dogs often develop clinical signs of this infection 3-4 days after exposure to a large number of other dogs. But it may take up to 10 days. Dogs may also experience mild symptoms after receiving the vaccine.
Signs and Symptoms of Kennel Cough in Dogs
This cough is an infectious upper respiratory tract disease caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria. The most common virus that causes kennel cough is the parainfluenza virus. Symptoms of this cough include persistent dry cough with force, it often sounds like a goose honk. Coughing at night keeps your dog awake, retching, watery nasal discharge, and mild cases often have active dogs. Severe cases can progress to pneumonia, fever, lethargy, and even death.
Some dogs with this cough may have other symptoms of illness, including sneezing, a runny nose, or eye discharge. A dog with kennel cough will not lose its appetite or have a decreased energy level. The symptoms of this cough may also vary from breed to breed.
Diagnosis of Kennel Cough
The diagnosis of this disease is based on the symptoms present and a dog’s history with other dogs. A thorough history of your dog’s health and the onset of clinical signs will be required. Some tests may be carried out also through a combination of blood chemistry tests, a complete blood count, a urinalysis, fecal examinations, while chest X-rays may be done sometimes in order to be sure of what it is.
Treatment and Prevention of Kennel Cough in Dogs
When your dog becomes ill, the severity of his symptoms determines how he should be treated. If your dog is alert, active, and has eaten recently, supportive care may be all that is needed. Supportive care includes giving him medications to reduce inflammation and coughing and allowing him to rest. Antibiotics may help shorten the course of the illness.
This cough is a contagious condition in dogs. If you think your dog has it, keep them away from other animals. Although most cases of kennel cough will resolve without treatment, medications may help in order to hasten up the treatment plan. Nebulizers and vaporizers that use inhaled antibiotics or bronchodilators have been reported as beneficial but are usually not prescribed.
Today, there is a vaccine for the Bordetella bacterium. The bordetella bacterium is the most common cause of kennel cough. Dogs that are frequently boarded, visit doggie daycare, compete in canine sports, or otherwise are exposed to large groups of dogs may benefit from this vaccine. This vaccine can be used to prevent kennel cough in dogs. Ask your veterinarian about the vaccination.