Your poor dog has a hacking cough and has even started sneezing and gagging every time you go out for a walk. These “doggy cold” symptoms are the typical signs of kennel cough, an infectious form of bronchitis that causes irritation in a dog’s trachea and lungs. If your dog is otherwise healthy, there’s little risk of complications, and the cough and other symptoms will pass – but that can take more than three weeks. If you want to save your pet some misery and lessen the likelihood that your dog might infect another pet, kennel cough treatment is available in the form of Temaril-P tablets.
Temaril-P is a brand-name prescription medication -- generically, it’s known as trimeprazine with prednisolone. The medication combines an antihistamine (trimeprazine) and corticosteroid (prednisone), which, used together, can treat a variety of canine upper respiratory infections and coughs, including kennel cough. Temaril-P and the generic drug are also used to relieve itchiness, skin irritation, and allergies.
Why Use Kennel Cough Relief?
In addition to a deep, dry cough that gets worse with exercise, dogs with kennel cough can suffer more serious symptoms, such as excessive phlegm that can make pets choke and vomit. The symptoms can last for a long time, leaving dogs feeling worn down. They may lose their appetite, become lethargic, and even be depressed.
Starting your dog on Temaril-P as soon as possible can help you avoid serious problems. Trimeprazine, the antihistamine ingredient, will help to suppress the cough so your dog can rest and regain strength. Prednisone, the corticosteroid, reduces inflammation in the respiratory system, so your dog will have less pain when breathing, eating, and going about regular functions.
How to Give Your Pet Temaril-P
Your veterinarian will need to examine your dog, diagnose your pet with kennel cough, and provide a prescription for trimeprazine with prednisolone. The medication comes as scored tablets, and if you have a small dog, you may need to split them, giving your pet half a tablet per dose. You will need to give your dog the pill by mouth once a day, or according to any special direction, your veterinarian may give you. Your vet will likely also recommend that you give your dog Temaril-P with food to prevent stomach upset.
Temaril-P Is Not for Every Dog’s Kennel Cough
If your pet has already shared kennel cough and infected another dog in your house, don’t assume you can just give your other dog the same prescription and dosage. Take your second pet to the vet for an exam and individual diagnosis. Temaril-P and the generic version of the drug suppress a dog’s immune system, which makes it dangerous for some canines. It should not be given to puppies, pregnant and lactating dogs, or any animal that has the following medical conditions: systemic fungal infections, some types of mange, stomach ulcers, Cushing's disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, or congestive heart failure.
Temaril-P and its generic equivalent can interact with other medications making it ineffective for treating kennel cough or resulting in complications. So be sure to discuss other prescriptions, homeopathic products, or herbal treatments that your dog is taking before starting trimeprazine with prednisolone.
While Temaril-P offers huge relief for dogs suffering from kennel cough, the drug can cause negative reactions in some dogs, so you should watch for side effects such as excessive sleepiness, weakness, or exposure of your dog’s third eyelid (which could lead to an eye infection. Some pets on trimeprazine with prednisolone may also need to urinate more frequently (prepare for accidents). The rare side effects of trimeprazine with prednisolone -- such as weight gain, muscle loss, and the development of diabetes -- are not a significant concern when treating kennel cough since dogs should only need to take the medication for a short period of time.
Kennel Cough Symptoms and Treatment
Kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) is a highly contagious, acute upper respiratory disease caused by bacterial and viral pathogens. It occurs primarily in young dogs or puppies but is a relatively common disease. Kennel cough gets its name from the populated kennel or shelter conditions that are ideal for it spreading from dog to dog.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough
- Dry, hacking cough; wet, gurgling coughs can be signs of more serious infections
- Cough may produce a “honking” sound
- Retching with a white, foamy discharge; this can worsen after exercise
- Nasal discharge
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye
Kennel cough specifically targets the upper respiratory system, so if your dog exhibits other symptoms like decreased appetite, breathing problems, or fever, go to the vet immediately. A mild case of kennel cough will not affect your dog’s energy levels or appetite.
Preventing Kennel Cough
The virus can spread through the air and through contaminated objects. Because it doesn’t require direct contact to infect, it is difficult to prevent except through isolation. If your dog goes to a daycare or boarding, look for good ventilation and strict disinfection practices.
Vaccinations are generally recommended only for high-risk cases because of the risk of side effects and the complex nature of kennel cough strains. But some boarding houses and doggie daycares require vaccinations against two of the causes of kennel cough: parainfluenza and bordetella.
Treatment for Kennel Cough
In its mild form, kennel cough can be compared to the common cold in humans. Most cases of kennel cough clear up on their own within three weeks, with symptoms improving in a week. However, dogs can remain contagious even after symptoms clear.
You can help keep your dog comfortable while they recover by keeping them warm, using a humidifier to help them breathe, and ensuring they get plenty of fluids. If your dog’s collar seems to be irritating its neck on walks, consider switching to a harness for the duration of the healing process. Honey is safe for dogs in small doses and is a natural remedy that can help soothe the irritated lining of the throat.
For young or elderly dogs or pets with autoimmune disorders, the disease can cause serious complications. See your vet if the cough doesn’t clear up on its own. Diagnosis of kennel cough is primarily made by considering the history of exposure to other dogs, but your vet may want to take urine or blood samples to rule out other illnesses.
Your vet might recommend an anti-inflammatory to alleviate coughing and lessen mucus secretions. A cough suppressant may also be prescribed. Severe cases of kennel cough can progress into pneumonia. If your dog is showing potential symptoms of pneumonia—fever, severe respiratory distress, or lack of appetite—an antibiotic course will probably be recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fastest way to cure kennel cough?
The fastest way to cure kennel cough depends on the underlying cause and severity of the infection. In general, most cases of kennel cough will resolve on their own within 3-4 weeks, but there are steps that can be taken to help manage the symptoms and speed up the healing process.
How do you treat kennel cough at home?
Kennel cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs that is caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria. If your dog has kennel cough, it's important to keep them isolated from other dogs to prevent the spread of the infection. Keep your dog well-hydrated by offering them water frequently. Make sure they rest and reduce their level of physical activity. Clearing their airways by using a humidifier or taking them into a steamy bathroom for a few minutes several times a day can help a lot. Administer over-the-counter cough suppressants, as recommended by your veterinarian. Also, feed your dog a bland, easily digestible diet to reduce vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog's symptoms persist for more than a few days, or if they develop a fever, decreased appetite, or severe coughing, it's important to seek veterinary care. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to treat a secondary bacterial infection or other medications to help with symptom management.
Will kennel cough go away on its own?
Kennel cough can go away on its own in some cases, but it's always best to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. In mild cases, kennel cough can resolve on its own within 3-4 weeks, but it's important to keep your dog well-rested, well-hydrated, and away from other dogs to prevent the spread of the infection. In severe cases, or if your dog's symptoms persist for more than a few days, it's important to seek veterinary care. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to treat a secondary bacterial infection or other medications to help with symptom management. In any case, it's important to monitor your dog's symptoms and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns about their health or if their symptoms persist for more than a few days.
Can I give my dog Benadryl for kennel cough?
Yes, you can give Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to dogs, but it is important to only do so under the guidance and recommendation of a veterinarian. The appropriate dosage of Benadryl for dogs can vary based on factors such as size, weight, and underlying health conditions, and using the wrong dosage can be dangerous. It's necessary to consult a veterinarian if your dog is showing signs of kennel cough, as they can determine the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate course of treatment. In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary to treat a secondary bacterial infection, and cough suppressants or other medications may be used to help manage symptoms. Using medications without the approval and guidance of a veterinarian can be dangerous for your dog and can interfere with the proper treatment of its condition. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your dog any medications or treatments.
What triggers kennel cough?
Kennel cough is highly contagious and can be easily spread from dog to dog through direct contact or through the air. This is why it is often referred to as a "kennel cough," as dogs are particularly susceptible to the infection when they are housed in close quarters with other dogs, such as in kennels, shelters, or boarding facilities. Stressful situations, such as being boarded in a kennel or exposed to a large number of dogs at a dog park or obedience training class, can weaken a dog's immune system and make them more susceptible to kennel cough. Dogs with a weakened immune system, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or those with underlying health conditions like heart disease or respiratory problems, are more susceptible to kennel cough. Exposure to environmental irritants, such as dust, smoke, or mold, can irritate a dog's respiratory system and make them more susceptible to kennel cough. Kennel cough can be caused by a number of different viruses and bacteria, and not all dogs will experience the same symptoms or have the same triggers. If your dog is showing signs of kennel cough, it's important to seek veterinary care for proper diagnosis and treatment.
More on Kennel Cough
Dog Coughs: What Causes Them and What Can Be Done to Help
How to Tell If Your Pet Has a URI
Why Is My Pet Coughing?
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.