Kennel Cough 101
If you’ve ever owned a dog, chances are they’re required to get a regular bordatella shot. And, if you asked what that is, chances are you were told it’s to prevent kennel cough. Kennel cough, or canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is caused when dogs inhale certain virus or bacteria particles into their respiratory tract, causing inflammation of the larynx and trachea. Common factors that weaken your pet’s defenses to kennel cough are crowded/poorly ventilated conditions, cold temperatures, exposure to excessive dust or smoke, and travel-induced stress.
Symptoms and Treatment
Unlike a reverse sneeze which can sound like a cough, kennel cough is a forceful, persistent cough that sounds more like a goose honk. We recommend checking with your veterinarian, but the good news is, it sounds worse than it is. Most cases of kennel cough resolve themselves without treatment, though medications exist to expedite the process and return your pet to their optimal self. Some pets may show other symptoms of being sick like sneezing, runny nose, and decreased appetite and/or energy level.
It’s important to know that kennel cough is contagious;
If your pet hasn’t been vaccinated or you think they may have it, be sure to keep them away from other animals until you’ve talked with your vet. Keeping pets in well-humidified areas and opting for a harness instead of a collar when walking can prevent furthering the cough. Most symptoms of kennel cough should subside in 3 to 6 weeks depending on the age and health of your pet, but serious ongoing kennel cough can lead to pneumonia. It’s important to monitor the length of time that your pet’s exhibiting symptoms.
Lastly, be sure to keep your pet up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations to give them a leg up in avoiding sickness.
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