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Canine Parainfluenza refers to a virus that is responsible for causing kennel cough in dogs. The infection is usually contracted from other infected dogs, especially at close quarters. It’s called a kennel cough because it’s commonly found in dogs that share kennels.
The condition isn’t a severe one and will clear up in a matter of days with the right kind of treatment.
The symptoms of canine parainfluenza can vary from dog to dog. However, there are a common set of symptoms that you can refer to. Also, there can be variations in the intensity and severity of the symptoms, especially with age.
On of the first symptoms you’ll notice is coughing, which can be described as dry or even moist, at times. There may also be some blood produced as a result of the constant and intense coughing.
Other than coughing, a low-grade fever, mucus discharge, and pus can be present. Look out for a decrease in energy and appetite as well.
There is only one type of canine parainfluenza virus. However, the virus itself is a component of other infectious respiratory diseases that typically affect dogs. Apart from being part of the etiology for kennel cough or acute tracheobronchitis, the virus is often coupled with Bordetella bronchiseptica Canine adenovirus-2 (CAV-2)
The pathogen is viral in nature and is communicated through interaction with other infected hosts. As stated earlier, it receives its name due to the fact that the condition is common among dogs that share kennels, especially at shelters and canine race tracks.
Puppies and elderly dogs are at most risk due to their weaker immune systems. The infection can be transmitted via air 2 weeks after the infected host has healed.
Toy breeds and puppies can end up with complications, such as pneumonia, as a result of the thick secretions produced in the throat.
If you suspect that your dog has contracted the canine parainfluenza virus, the first thing you need to do is take your dog to the vet. Though it might be a moderately-risky condition, there is no need to assume that immediate medical attention isn’t required.
Your vet will diagnose your dog to determine whether or not it is canine parainfluenza. If the diagnosis is positive, your vet will prescribe some medication (antibiotics) to get rid of the infection. To ease the symptoms, he/she will suggest steam inhalation or a warm shower. This will help reduce much of the discomfort.
The infected dog should be kept away from other animals and should not be exposed to any irritants.
As for prevention, there is a canine parainfluenza vaccine. If your dog isn’t infected already, get the vaccination done immediately.