KENNEL COUGH IN DOGS
Is your dog is making hacking sounds? Is your furry friend constantly making a weird noise or sounds like something choking him? They may have kennel cough or canine infectious tracheobronchitis. This infectious cough may sound awful to you but most of the time it’s not that serious. Most dogs recover it without treatment.
WHAT IS KENNEL COUGH?
Kennel cough can have multiple causes. One of the most common culprits is a bacterium called Bordetella bronchisepticam – which is why kennel cough is often called Bordetella. Most dogs that become infected with Bordetella are infected with a virus at the same time. These viruses, which are known to make dogs more susceptible to contracting Bordetella infection, include canine adenovirus, canine distemper virus, canine herpes virus, parainfluenza virus and canine reovirus.
Some dogs may only have a mild cough, while others can become very ill with life-threatening pneumonia. This is why it is important to recognize the symptoms of kennel cough and seek treatment immediately.
HOW DO DOGS GET KENNEL COUGH?
A healthy dog can get kennel cough by inhaling aerosolized bacteria or viruses from an infected dog.
The bacteria and/or virus can be spread from an infected dog through coughing or sneezing, and dogs can also get it from infected objects (toys, food/water bowls).
Dogs are typically exposed to kennel cough when they are in crowded areas that have poor airflow and warm, moist air. Dogs can develop kennel cough approximately three to four days after they are exposed.
Some of these situations include:
· Animal shelters
· Boarding kennels
· Dog daycare facilities
· Grooming facilities
· Dog parks
There is a kennel cough vaccination that can prevent getting kennel cough.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KENNEL COUGH?
It is important to be aware of certain symptoms that can indicate straight signs of kennel cough. The more you get aware of the symptoms, quickly you will be able to take steps to cure your dog.
The classic symptom of kennel cough is a persistent, forceful cough. It often sounds like a goose honk. Your dogs cough at night and keep him awake retching with the production of white foam.
Some dogs with kennel cough may show other symptoms of illness, including sneezing, a runny nose, or eye discharge. If your dog has a kennel cough, it probably will not lose its appetite or have a decreased energy level.
In some other cases with severe kennel cough, the dogs lose appetite, become lethargic, laboured breathing and fever.
HOW FATAL IS KENNEL COUGH?
Many dogs with kennel cough can recover without complication; however, some dogs can become very sick with life-threatening pneumonia.
Dogs that are more susceptible to complications from kennel cough include:
· Puppies that have immature immune systems (especially young puppies less than 6 weeks)
· Older dogs with the weak immune system are more likely to catch kennel cough
· Dogs with serious diseases (heart failure, diabetes, or cancer)
· Pregnant dogs that may have a lower immunity
· Dogs that have pre-existing respiratory diseases (tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis, severe respiratory allergies)
HOW LONG DOES KENNEL COUGH LAST?
Although it sounds dreadful or looks unpleasant when your dog catches kennel cough, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not usually a serious condition. Most of the time, a case of kennel cough resolves entirely on its own. Typically, the kennel cough is only life-threatening for older dogs, young puppies, or dogs with compromised immune systems. Think of kennel cough like a dog’s version of the human cold.
Dogs with mild kennel cough are usually got sick for about one or two weeks and recover easily. Dogs with a good immunity system usually experience mild clinical signs and quickly recover from kennel cough.
Dogs that have complicated cases of kennel cough can be sick for three to six weeks, with a long road to recovery. If dogs aren’t strong enough and get severely affected by kennel cough and develop pneumonia, they could die.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR KENNEL COUGH?
The treatment for kennel cough will depend on your dog and the severity of the kennel cough.
For mild cases of kennel cough, treatment may only include supportive care, which focuses on rest, nutrition, and hydration.
A cough suppressant may be prescribed by your dog’s veterinarian to help reduce the frequency of the cough.
It should take about one to two weeks for a dog to recover from a mild case of kennel cough. Some dogs can completely recover on their own with no treatment required.
Severe Cases of Kennel Cough
Complicated cases of kennel cough can cause your dog to become very sick. A dog with severe kennel cough will most likely be coughing, acting very lethargic, and not wanting to eat or drink.
If a dog has developed pneumonia, then treatment can involve:
· Intravenous fluids
· Possibly oxygen therapy
The treatment of kennel cough in complicated cases can be costly depending on the number of days of hospitalization required.
HOME REMEDIES FOR KENNEL COUGH?
For mild cases of kennel cough, there are a few at-home remedy options. However, keep an eye out for signs that the kennel cough is getting worse or not getting better.
· ADD HONEY WITH WARM WATER
Honey can be a great home remedy for kennel cough as it can help soothe your dog’s throat and minimize coughing.
You can give your dog one-half tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of honey mixed with a little warm water in a bowl. This can be offered up to three times a day depending on how often your dog is coughing.
· USE HUMIDIFIER
A small humidifier can be placed near your dog while they are resting.
The humidifier will moisten the air that your dog breathes, which can help with irritation of the respiratory tract.
· USE YOUR SHOWER TO DO STREAM THERAPY
If you’re taking a hot shower or bath, let your dog stay in the closed bathroom with you—but not in the shower or bath. The hot shower can provide steam therapy and also help to decrease irritation.
· MAKE SURE YOUR DOG IS GETTING PLENTY OF REST
Rest is very important for your dog while recovering from kennel cough.
Try to reduce the amount of exercise your dog gets daily while they are recovering from kennel cough—this can help with healing and reduce coughing spells.
HOW TO PREVENT KENNEL COUGH?
It’s not always possible to prevent kennel cough, but dog parents can certainly try. One of the best ways to do this is through vaccination.
There is a vaccination against kennel cough, or more specifically against the Bordetella virus. It can either be injected, administered as a nasal mist (intranasal vaccination), or given by mouth in tablet or chewable form. The vaccine is usually given once a year, but it may be given every six months for more high-risk dogs. The Bordetella vaccine isn’t always 100% effective in preventing kennel cough, but it goes a long way toward keeping your dog safe.
It’s recommended primarily for dogs that are at a greater risk for the illness, like those that will commonly be boarded. Of course, keeping your dog up to date on their other vaccinations, like those that protect against the distemper and canine influenza viruses that often accompany the Bordetella bacteria, is another great way to minimize the risk. Talk to your veterinarian right away if your dog needs these vaccines.
HOW TO HELP YOUR DOG RECOVER FROM KENNEL COUGH?
While your dog is home recovering from kennel cough, make sure to avoid irritants such as household cleaners, cigarette smoke, and dust. These things can cause more irritation and prolong your dog’s recovery.
If you take your dog outside, consider using a harness instead of a collar. The harness will allow you to go for a walk without applying pressure on your trachea like a collar would, which can worsen your dog’s cough.
KENNEL COUGH VS. DISTEMPER
This is a popular tendency to confuse kennel cough with canine distemper, which is a much more serious condition. This is a huge misconception. The two illness are NOT the same, nor do they have the same prognosis.
Most cases of kennel cough are bacterial, while a virus is the root cause of distemper. The distemper infection does begin in the respiratory system but then goes on to attack the gastrointestinal and nervous system and the conjunctival membranes in the eyes.
Canine distemper initially presents with coughing and sneezing. However, there will be thick, yellow discharge from the eye and nose. The dog will rapidly develop a fever, become lethargic, and experience both vomiting and diarrhoea. Marked depression and loss of appetite are also present.
Dogs with distemper get very sick very quickly. The disease is highly contagious, passing through direct contact with urine, blood, and saliva. Dogs that share food and water bowls are particularly vulnerable, and the virus can be airborne via coughing and sneezing.
Here you go, if your find the post informative and since you have learned about the kennel cough, you can treat your furry friend with utmost care and love. Share the post with your “pet parent” friends.