Aptly named, kennel cough (or canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a common contagious dog cold, often transmitted in kennels. If not treated, it can cause complications for your pet. Find out more here.

Understanding kennel cough

Kennel cough is an inflammatory infection of the respiratory system and typically begins when a dog inhales contaminated viral or bacterial particles into its lungs. The contagions are typically spread through air, usually when a dog coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include: persistent dry and hoarse coughing and/or sneezing, discharge from the nose or eyes, fever, excessive fatigue, and loss of appetite.

Treatment options

Kennel cough can disappear naturally. However, if prolonged and left untreated, the disease can lead to pneumonia, which is much more serious and difficult to treat. It's always better to be cautious, so in case of doubt, take your dog to see your vet who'll be able to give you the best advice.

Dogs suffering from a nasty bout of bacterial kennel cough will likely be treated with antibiotics. There are also various cough syrups and medicines that may be administered.

Vaccinating against kennel cough

Although not a miracle cure, there are effective vaccines to help prevent against kennel cough. Talk to your vet about the options available for your pet.

It's likely that you will be asked to show proof of vaccination when you leave your dog in a kennel or boarding house given the contagious nature of the disease. When adopting a dog from a breeder, it's also wise to ask the breeder if their dogs have had their vaccinations, including any puppies, and to see the proof of vaccination certificates. This is also a sign of a quality breeder.

Has your dog ever had kennel cough?

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