Does your dog always seemed to come home with kennel cough after a stay at a dog
boarding facility? Much like kids in day care, when dogs go to
kennels, they’re often prone to catching something -- kennel
cough. It used to be thought that kennel cough in dogs was
usually caused by bacteria called Bordetella. Now,
though, most cases seem to be caused by viral infections like
parainfluenza or adenovirus viruses.
Signs of Kennel Cough
A dog with kennel cough has a dry, hacking cough for a few
days. The coughing is sometimes accompanied by sneezing or
gagging and a dog may cough more after exercise. Infections
typically are not serious, can last up to three weeks, and do
not usually progress in severity. Sometimes, more than one type
of infectious microorganism causes the irritation of the dog’s
trachea and bronchii.
Preventing Kennel Cough
Just as cold viruses are very contagious to humans, kennel
cough is very contagious to dogs. It's called kennel cough
(also known as infectious tracheobronchitis) because it shows
up more often in dogs that are closely confined, such as in the
kennel environment, a dog show, or even a veterinary clinic.
But a dog might also pick it up from another dog through a
groomer or at the park. Also, much like people and colds, the
infection usually resolves on its own.
An injection vaccination as well
as nasal spray containing the Bordetella agent is
available to vaccinate dogs against that bacteria. However,
this vaccine would have no effect on kennel cough resulting
from another source like parainfluenza. Many boarding
facilities now require dogs to be up to date on the canine
influenza vaccine for this reason. Because the dog’s body needs
time to build immunity to the vaccination, make sure you get
them vaccinated a few weeks prior.
Treating Kennel Cough
Dogs typically maintain their usual behavior of sleeping,
eating, and playing at their normal schedule, and eventually
recover on their own. However, because a cough can also be a
sign of other problems, like heart
disease or heartworms, your
veterinarian should examine the dog, even if you’re sure it is
The veterinarian will determine the cause of the dog’s cough by
examination, history, and ruling out other issues. Kennel cough
might be treated with the use of cough suppressant like
Temaril P pills for dogs to
ease coughs or antibiotics for a bacterial infection.
If your dog has kennel cough, even if your veterinarian decides
that no medication is necessary, your dog should be back to his
or her old self in about three weeks. Just allow them some time
to rest and stay warm and comfortable.
Dog Vaccination For Kennel Cough
Kennel cough is a persistent cough in dogs who have stayed in
kennels or have come in contact with a dog who has stayed in
one. Kennel coughs are not life-threatening but they can be
irritating for both the dog and his owner. Usually, the disease
subsides on its own after a few days. If a kennel cough lasts
for more than two weeks, the dog should receive proper
treatment from a vet. There are home remedies available for
soothing the discomfort or even curing the disease.
Vaccinations are also available and can protect dogs for up to
3 years. However, some studies have shown that vaccination does
not necessarily protect a dog against diseases like kennel
Time and dosage
Vaccinations are available against disease causing agents like
adenovirus, parainfluenza and Bordetella. These vaccinations
are administered through the intranasal route and are usually
given at least 10-14 days prior to dogs who are exposed to
unknown environments. The dose levels are decided after
consulting with an experienced vet.
Effect of vaccination
Most vaccination provides partial immunity in the first few
days after administration. Although vaccines are expected to
provide long-term protection, some don’t and dogs with
vaccinations still contract kennel cough. There are many
reasons due to which vaccinations may not work in every dog but
most commonly it happens due to the immune buildup of the dog.
Some have a weak immune system and are prone to diseases more
than other dogs.
Protection against kennel
Despite its drawbacks, vaccinations happen to be one of the
most effective treatment methods for kennel coughs. They are
effective and provide protection for a longer period of time.
Most treatment methods are done after the dog suffers from the
disease. In case of a vaccination, it is given prior to the
disease. In most cases, vaccinations along with a healthy diet
is the best way to make sure the dog is protected from diseases
like kennel cough.
coughs are dry, persistent coughs that sound irritating and
cause great discomfort to the dog. Although they are not life
threatening, a persistent cough which takes place for more than
two weeks is a sign of serious illness. If your dog mixes with
other dogs too frequently, it’s best to have him vaccinated
with kennel cough vaccines. There are many available in the
market but they should only be given after due consultation
with the vet. The vaccines are effective and in some cases, it
protects the dog for up to 3 years. The intranasal route is the
most common route of administration. If the cough persists even
after the vaccination, the dog may have a weaker immune system
and should be taken to the vet.
More on Dog Care
How to Give a Pet Oral
How to Give a Cat
or Dog a Shot
Respiratory Infections in Cats and Dogs
This information is for informational purposes only
and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice
of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with
respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a
licensed veterinarian for accuracy.