Kennel Cough in Dogs

Kennel cough, also known as Bordatellosis, Bordatella or tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is most commonly contracted when dogs are kept in close proximity to multiple dogs, for example in a dog kennel, animal shelter, or veterinary clinic.

Kennel cough is a respiratory virus that is caused most commonly by the following infection spreading agents including, but not limited to the canine parainfluenza virus, canine distemper virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and canine adenovirus 2.

Kennel cough is not normally a serious disease, but if a dog is young, very old, or has a past history of immune system problems than it can cause more harm to the dog on an individual basis. However, just like sickness in humans if your dog has any of the following signs of kennel cough it is recommended you take them into your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Prevention of Kennel Cough
To prevent kennel cough from forming in your dog you can be provided either a nasal or injectable vaccine. This is most recommended when your dog will become in contact with other dogs in confined areas, such as a stay at a dog boarding facility. Vaccinations should be given at least one week prior to being in contact with the other dogs. Most boarding facilities require vaccination against kennel cough and would not permit admittance if the dog has not been vaccinated.

Some of the signs of Kennel Cough include:

  • A dry cough
  • Vomiting, usually a white foamy liquid
  • Gagging or choking as if something were blocking the dog’s airway
  • Excretions from the nasal cavities
  • The dog being lethargic
  • Loss of appetite

The symptoms of kennel cough usually appear around 5-10 days after contact with an infected dog and have been known to last up to 3 weeks. During this period the dog should be kept separated from other animals as they are thought to remain contagious.

Treatment of Kennel Cough

Treatment for kennel cough will be determined by your veterinarian based on the individual severity of the infection. For milder cases, many dogs recover from the infection without treatment, but would only require the monitoring of your dog to make sure the condition does not worsen. With more severe cases your veterinarian may prescribe a cough suppressant or an antibiotic to ward off the infection.

*The above is for informational purposes only.  If you have any concerns regarding Kennel Cough or any other ailments with your animal than you should contact your local licensed veterinarian to discuss.