What is kennel cough? “Kennel cough,” aka Infectious Canine Tracheobronchitis, refers to a highly contagious respiratory disease most commonly caused by bacteria known as bordatella bronchiseptica. Infection with bordatella organisms is highly contagious from dog to dog hence the name “kennel cough.” The illness can spread very easily and rapidly in areas where dogs congregate such as dog parks, boarding facilities, and animal shelters.
The disease manifests itself as a cough, and all ages and breeds can be affected. The cough can be mild or severe, moist or dry, soft or harsh. Oftentimes the cough is followed by gagging, and can be elicited with pressure or palpation of the trachea and can be exacerbated by excitement. Most times the pet is otherwise doing well and acting normally, eating drinking and active. All coughing dogs shoud be examined by a veterinarian, as coughing in dogs can have several causes unrelated to kennel cough. These causes include heart disease, viral diseases such as distemper virus, heartworm disease, and dental disease. Treatment of uncomplicated kennel cough can be accomplished by using antibiotics or isolation with enforced rest. Most infections can be eliminated in 14 days although occasionally the condition can progress to pneumonia. Prevention can be achieved via vaccination against bordatella annually, and the vaccine can be administered either in the injectable form under the skin or as nose drops (intranasally)
We all want to keep our pets healthy and safe – see your veterinarian for the kennel cough vaccine annually.