What Is The Canine Parainfluenza Virus? A Virus That Can Cause Kennel Cough In Dogs

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Canine Parainfluenza is one of the many virus that can cause kennel cough in dogs. This cough is usually contracted from other dogs within close quarters that have the virus, such as kennels. The good news is that this condition is non-life threatening and usually clears up anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Learn how to prevent canine parainfluenza here.

Canine parainfluenza virus is one of the causes of kennel cough, a contagious, non-life-threatening cold-like condition that causes coughing and other symptoms in dogs. Kennel cough, which can also be caused by bacteria called Bordetella, can have effects on animals for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The condition can be passed between dogs in close quarters—including, commonly, boarding facilities. It can also be passed from cats to dogs and vice versa, and from dogs to humans with weakened immune systems.


  • Hacking cough
  • Coughing up phlegm
  • Sneezing
  • Gagging
  • Nasal discharge
  • Fever
  • Pneumonia can even develop in some cases

Some dogs may not show any signs of the condition and can pass it along undetected. The germs can be transmitted by air or indirectly through the belongings of an affected dog, such as toys and dishes. Dogs especially at risk for catching kennel cough include the old, the young, and those not vaccinated against canine parainfluenza virus and bordetella.

Treating and Preventing the Parainfluenza Virus

If you suspect your dog may have kennel cough due to canine parainfluenza or bordetella, you’ll want to take your dog to the vet to rule out any other health conditions and to help manage the symptoms, if necessary.

  • Medication may be recommended.
  • Steam via a humidifier or running the shower may ease the discomfort associated with parainfluenza.
  • Affected dogs should be kept away from irritants like cigarette smoke.
  • Dogs should be kept away from other animals to prevent the spread of the parainfluenza.  

Vaccines against canine parainfluenza and bordetella are recommended to prevent kennel cough, but they can’t help if a dog has already caught kennel cough. Most boarding and grooming facilities will require your dog to be up to date on these vaccinations before you leave your dog to stay with them. Airlines also commonly require proof of vaccination.

More on Dog Coughs

Kennel Cough Symptoms And Treatment
Using Temaril-P For Dogs As Kennel Cough Treatment
Why Is My Pet Coughing?

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