Help! My Dog Has Kennel Cough
What Is Kennel Cough?
Infectious Bronchitis - A persistent infection of the throat with a bacteria and a virus.
Causes a dry, repetitive, choking cough and fever.
Mild cases often have sneezing, runny eyes and noses.
Highly contagious wherever dogs meet. Incubation is usually 7 -10 days.
Six things you should know about kennel cough:
It’s extremely common.
It’s highly contagious.
It has a long incubation period.
Most dogs don’t get it from kennels.
Vaccinating against it doesn't stop it spreading or cure it.
Kennel cough can be anywhere. Every large shelter probably has it all the time and it goes through kennels regularly. It’s certainly the most common infectious disease we see in dogs..
What does kennel cough look like?
Kennel cough is the canine equivalent of whooping cough. Most dogs have a dry, honking cough which they can’t stop. However, it can look very different in some dogs, and dry coughs can be caused by a lot of other things. For example, something stuck in a dog’s throat or a collapsing trachea look much the same. You will need your vet to tell you if your dog’s cough is caused by kennel cough or something else. Dogs with kennel cough are also usually miserable.
How contagious is kennel cough?
Dogs who never go out can get it in their garden from passing dogs. Dogs found roaming and taken to a shelter for one hour can get it from such a short period of time. It spreads in air-conditioning systems.
How long is the incubation period?
Typically seven days, give or take a few. That’s far longer than most other infectious diseases so people have often forgotten the source by the time it happens.
Where does kennel cough come from?
Duh. Kennels stupid! Actually this is not true. The name causes a lot of problems with people thinking it only comes from kennels. Number one place to catch kennel cough is … the dog park. Number two is probably places like training classes, dog groomers and cafes but most dog owners can’t really say where it came from.
What can you do?
If your dog gets kennel cough, treatment includes antibiotics, anti- inflammatories and cough suppressants. The choice will depend on your dog’s specific problems. Of course it’s also essential to stay away from other dogs, especially the young and old, as they can get very sick.
Most otherwise healthy dogs recover within a week but some can remain sick for months. So there's no need to panic if your dog gets it. A natural often is to treat with a little honey and just keep them warm and dry.
The key is to keep your dog as healthy as possible all the time, so if the get one of the 2 most common strains they should recover well with just rest and a little pampering.
What about the kennel cough vaccination?
Follow this link for more info on the vaccine in the UK to help make up your mind.
The information provided here is not intended to be used as a substitute for going to the vet. If your pet has has a problem, please seek veterinary attention.