Nine of the most frequently asked questions concerning kennel cough have been compiled by Dr. Rachel Morgan. We strongly advise getting in touch with your regular veterinarian if you have any further concerns or believe your dog may be showing kennel cough symptoms.
1. What is the fundamental reason for “Canine influenza?
Kennel cough, also known as infected tracheobronchitis, is a general term that can be used to describe a variety of underlying conditions. even though it’s widely used “There are other viruses and bacteria that can cause a dog to develop a cough, and although the phrase “kennel cough” is usually used to describe respiratory diseases brought on by the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica. If your dog starts coughing, it’s crucial to have your usual veterinarian undertake a physical examination to rule out any other underlying conditions that could be causing the animal’s symptoms.
2.) Despite receiving all of the recommended vaccinations, my dog still got kennel cough. How could this be?
While Bordetella immunizations provide immunity against infections brought on by other bacteria or viruses that might cause infectious tracheobronchitis, they cannot completely prevent all infections. There is evidence that the Bordetella vaccine can aid in reducing the overall frequency and severity of illnesses despite its drawbacks. An infection that occurs spontaneously does not give protection from subsequent illnesses.
3.) How can I distinguish between canine influenza and kennel cough?
Samples from the infected patient’s nose and throat must be sent to a diagnostic lab in order to determine the root cause with certainty. When symptoms seem moderate, extra testing is frequently skipped. Your veterinarian could advise additional diagnostics including blood work, chest radiography, and sample submission if the dog is lethargic, feverish, or not eating.
4.) How might my dog have kennel cough if he hasn’t spent time in a boarding kennel?
In a number of situations, such as dog parks, daycare centers, and training classes, dogs can become exposed through close contact with another ill dog. Many respiratory infection causes are very contagious. These establishments make an effort to stop the spread of illness by demanding vaccination records and advising owners of sick animals to keep their dogs at home.
5. Why are respiratory illnesses like Bordetella and others so contagious?
The lining of a dog’s airway is where many viruses and bacteria, including B. bronchiseptica, love to establish themselves. Each time an animal coughs, the bacterium or virus is subsequently discharged into the air, creating a source of infection for other animals. Therefore, after all symptoms have totally subsided, any dog suspected of having a respiratory illness should be kept away from other dogs for at least one week.
6.) How soon will symptoms appear in my dog if he or she comes into contact with an animal that has kennel cough? What signs should I be on the lookout for?
The incubation period lasts for two to fourteen days. The quick beginning of a dry, hacking cough that frequently ends with a retching sounds is one of the most typical clinical indications. Fever, nasal discharge, anorexia, and lethargy can also occur in some animals. A minor respiratory infection has the potential to worsen, but for the most part, infections are self-limiting and are identified by a mild cough that lasts for one to two weeks. It is crucial to arrange for your pet to visit your usual veterinarian for a physical checkup, even if the symptoms are minimal.
7.) Can respiratory illnesses like Bordetella and canine influenza spread to people or other animals besides dogs?
These illnesses are dog-specific strains that cannot infect humans, cats, or other non-canine pets.
8.) Why would my dog’s cough get worse even after oral medications were given to him?
Even in people with a minor infection, coughing can develop into a vicious cycle. Inflammation brought on by a bacterial or viral illness results in coughing. Coughing, however, can also cause more localized inflammation and irritation. Ask your normal veterinarian whether a cough suppressant should be recommended if you believe that your dog’s coughing fits are frequent and severe enough to prevent your dog from eating, drinking, or sleeping. It is common for patients to experience a persistent cough for 1-2 weeks despite antibiotic treatment because respiratory infections frequently require time to clear up. Keep your vet informed of your dog’s condition at home, including appetite and energy levels, during this time. You should seek immediate medical assistance if you see any changes in these areas or if your dog appears to be having any trouble breathing comfortably.
9.) Is a vaccination readily available? How frequently should my dog receive a kennel cough vaccination?
The Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine is now offered as an oral, injectable, and intranasal dose. The oral or intranasal form of the vaccine can be given as early as 8 weeks of age and can be boosted 2-4 weeks later, in accordance with the immunization recommendations made by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Typically, the injectable form is started as early as 8 weeks of age, followed by a booster 4 weeks later. Adult dogs who may be exposed to dangerous conditions should receive vaccinations every 6 to 12 months.
What is kennel cough?
If your dog is exposed to other dogs or places where other dogs have gone, he or she may have the cold known as “kennel cough,” which is a broad phrase. The most typical kennel cough strain is known medically as Bordetella. People frequently connect newly boarded dogs with kennel cough (or “kenneled). However, anywhere your dog comes into contact with other dogs, they could get kennel cough. This covers daycare, the groomer, the vet, a canine training class, a dog park, your neighbor’s dog, and any other dog-related activity or location. These infections, which might be bacterial or viral in origin, are comparable to a human chest cold. The possibility of infection exists whenever your dog is close to an infected animal. The incubation period is roughly 3–10 days, so your dog won’t start to feel sick for 3–10 days after being exposed to the virus. This obviously makes it challenging to identify a sick dog before they may spread an infection to others in a social setting and explains why it’s common for dogs to leave a facility symptom-free before developing symptoms at home a few days later.
How do I prevent my dog from getting kennel cough?
Getting your dog vaccinated against Bordetella will help lower the danger. Even if your dog has had a vaccination, kennel cough can still strike. The virus has undergone numerous mutations and strains. The Bordetella vaccination is comparable to the “flu shot for people,” in that a vaccine is created each year based on the strains that are thought to be the most common. Simply said, having a Bordetella vaccination does not protect your dog from contracting kennel cough. The best line of defense against illness is a robust immune system. Due to their compromised immune systems, puppies, older dogs, and puppies are more likely to get kennel cough.
What are the symptoms of kennel cough?
Coughing or hacking is the kennel cough’s most typical symptom. Sneezing, runny nose, ocular discharge, lethargicness, appetite loss, and occasionally fever are other symptoms.
What do I do if think my dog is exhibiting any symptoms of kennel cough?
Take your dog to the vet right away if they show any signs of kennel cough and keep them away from other dogs for at least 14 days, including at daycare and boarding. Usually, it takes this long for a dog to totally rid itself of the infection and stop spreading it to other canines.
Canine kennel cough is contagious even before symptoms appear.
The dog will remain contagious for the duration of the incubation period, which lasts between 2 and 14 days, for kennel cough. Some dogs might carry the disease for months before showing any symptoms.
Is the incubation period contagious for kennel cough?
Infectious Tracheobronchitis, sometimes known as “Kennel Cough,” is a highly contagious respiratory ailment that can affect dogs all year long but is most prevalent in the wet winter months. A severe, hacking cough, which can occasionally result in retching, and a watery nasal discharge are typical symptoms of kennel cough (much like human coughs and colds). These symptoms often last 1 to 2 weeks in simple cases, during which time affected dogs continue to be active, eat, and drink regularly. Consequently, its medical influence is typically of a “nuisance” kind. Fever, sluggishness, and decreased appetite might occasionally and in extreme circumstances be observed. Unvaccinated, young, elderly, or handicapped dogs are more likely to experience this. The bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica and the parainfluenzavirus are the two most virulent causes of Kennel Cough; both causes frequently work in combination and involve both bacteria and viruses.
Airway irritation and mucus buildup are the causes of coughing. The best way to prevent kennel cough is to adhere to a recommended vaccination schedule (routine vaccinations will cover parainfluenzavirus, but a separate “Kennel Cough” vaccine is advised for Bordetella bronchiseptica); and to make sure that any locations where your dog may come into contact with lots of other dogs, such as boarding kennels or training facilities, have a strict vaccination policy. The main issue with Kennel Cough is that it is exceedingly contagious and has an incubation period of 7–10 days during which dogs may not exhibit any symptoms but can still spread the illness to other dogs. Other dogs around can easily inhale the bacteria and/or viruses that an infected dog releases in respiratory secretions into the air. They can also spread through items like toys or feeding and water bowls. Because of this, kennels and other environments with a lot of dogs in a small area are more likely to spread the illness. The severity of the clinical indications will determine how to treat kennel cough. The majority of dogs, however, will fully recover in 2 weeks without any kind of treatment. Affected dogs should avoid contact with other animals during this time and for two weeks after the coughing stops, instead “garden walking” or exercising far from other dogs. Within a week of the first signs, if a dog’s condition has not improved or has worsened, veterinarian advice should be sought since this may indicate an underlying condition. Affected dogs shouldn’t be brought into veterinary waiting areas since they could infect other dogs, some of whom may have more severe medical issues. If a veterinary visit is necessary, the practice should be informed and they can offer advice on the best course of action.
How did my dog get home-grown kennel cough?
By breathing in aerosolized bacteria or viruses from an infected dog, a healthy dog can get kennel cough.
Dogs can contract the germs and/or virus from an infected dog by coughing or sneezing, as well as via infected things (toys, food/water bowls).
Approximately three to four days following exposure, dogs can develop kennel cough. The most common situations when dogs are exposed to kennel cough include crowded spaces with poor airflow and warm, damp air, such as:
What treatment stops kennel cough the quickest?
It’s crucial to make sure your dog gets adequate water if he has kennel cough. It will remove the poisons from his body, which might make the infection disappear more quickly. Have your dog nibble on ice cubes if he won’t drink water.
What symptoms resemble kennel cough?
You may observe one or more of the following signs in your dog if they have kennel cough:
- a dry cough that frequently makes a “honking sound” The most prominent symptom is this.
- clogged nose
- reduced appetite
- little fever
Kevin Fitzgerald, DVM, a contributor for AKC Family Dog, says that although while kennel cough is easily curable in healthy dogs, it’s crucial to report a coughing symptom to your veterinarian because it could be a warning of a more serious sickness.
He said that the canine distemper virus and canine influenza virus both have symptoms that are very similar to kennel cough at first. Other illnesses that might cause coughing include bronchitis, asthma, heart disease, a collapsing trachea, and bronchitis.
How long can I leave my sick dog alone?
- Relax and tender loving care (TLC) – Exercise can aggravate a cough; keep your dog warm, cozy, and give them as much time as they need to rest.
- Some dogs with kennel cough may benefit from spending time in a steamy environment (perhaps while you take a shower or bath). Never leave your dog alone in a stuffy environment or make them stay there against their will if they’re not comfortable.
- Keep your dog away from other people since it can spread kennel cough for up to two weeks after the symptoms have subsided. Your dog will be very contagious when ill. Keep them away from other canines and public areas during this time.
Will kennel cough naturally disappear?
Most cases of kennel cough resolve on their own within three weeks and shouldn’t require any kind of therapy. You should be able to utilize natural remedies at home to make your dog more comfortable if they dog generally appears healthy and is eating well. This includes not using a collar and not keeping them in a dry environment.
Take your dog to the vet if you have any concerns. In order to reduce the risk to other dogs, it is better to call the clinic in advance and let them know you suspect they have kennel cough.
To combat the Bordetella bacteria, the veterinarian may be able to give medications for kennel cough. If necessary, they may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory to soothe your dog’s throat or a cough suppressant for dogs.