A Primer on Kennel Cough: What Is This Highly Contagious Respiratory Disease?

Dogs often develop an upper respiratory infection after staying at the kennel or any place where they come into contact with many other dogs.

The term “kennel cough” is a sort of a catchall phrase. It stands for any infectious cough that can spread rapidly from dog to dog.

A Primer on Kennel Cough

What causes kennel cough

Kennel cough can result from an infection by bacteria, viruses, or both. 

The most common bacterium involved is Bordetella bronchiseptica, the bacterial component of the kennel cough vaccine.

What does it look like?

The most common sign is a persistent, hacking cough. 

Your dog may or may not cough up phlegm. Dogs often have a runny nose, eyes, or other signs of a mild respiratory infection. The condition is rarely severe and usually goes away on its own in 7-10 days. However, infected dogs can easily pass the disease on to other dogs.

Kennel cough treatment

Treatment consists primarily of tender loving care. 

Your dog needs rest and a good diet, and you should encourage your dog to drink water. Your veterinarian may prescribe a cough suppressant to allow your dog to get some rest. If the infection is bacterial, your dog might need antibiotics. In general, affected dogs don’t require hospitalization to prevent passing the infection on to other dogs.

Related articles:
How Dogs Get Kennel Cough: Stress And Crowded Places Might Mean Kennel Cough

Further reading:
Kennel Cough in Dogs

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