Can a Human Medicine Work as Dog Kennel Cough Medicine?

The dog kennel cough or the infectious tracheobronchitis is a condition that may be caused by numerous viruses or bacteria. Most of the times, the kennel cough will pass without medication. In some cases cough suppressants will be recommended. However, human medicine will not work as dog kennel cough medicine.

Treatment Options for Kennel Cough

The kennel cough will cause symptoms such as:

  • Dry cough
  • Respiratory tract inflammation which causes breathing difficulties
  • Panting
  • Fever
  • Sneezing (in some cases)
  • A general state of weakness

The treatment for kennel cough may not always consist of medication; a few steam baths and a warm environment can facilitate the healing. In some cases anti tussives or antibiotics will be prescribed.

Antibiotics for Kennel Cough

Some vets may opt for antibiotic treatment for the kennel cough, especially if the virus or bacteria causing the infection is identified.

Other vets will refrain from prescribing antibiotics. These may only be recommended if the kennel cough is severe and has affected the lungs causing pneumonia.

If your pet requires antibiotics, don’t administer human antibiotics and make sure that the dosage is suitable for your dog’s weight and age.

Human antibiotics may be toxic for canines. Even if some ingredients are the same in canine medication and human medication, certain ingredients may not be suitable for dogs and dogs require a special dosage.

Human antibiotics such as amoxicillin, ampicillin or tetracycline can be used in dogs, but the dosage should be much lower than in humans. An overdose of antibiotics can be fatal in canines.

Cough Suppressants

Cough suppressants can be given to relieve the dry cough. Drugs that contain dextromethorphan can be safely used in dogs. However, you should check with your vet for the right dosage. Stay away from drugs that contain acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol or Paracetamol), which is particularly toxic for dogs.

Home Remedies

Even if human drugs will not work in dogs with kennel cough infection, some remedies that work in humans with respiratory infections may work in dogs as well.

Dogs with kennel cough will have inflamed air ways and you can facilitate the dog’s breathing by administering a few steam baths. Fill the bath tub with hot water and allow the steam to form in the bathroom. Keep your dog in the steamy room; don’t bathe the dog.

Vaporizers will also facilitate the breathing and you can also give your dog a few extra blankets to make him more comfortable.

Just like humans with an infection, dogs require abundant liquids, so make sure your pet gets a lot of water.

Strenuous exercise should be avoided, as this will cause additional breathing problems.

The kennel cough infection should resolve within 3 weeks. If you see that your dog shows no signs of improvement after 2 weeks, you should visit the vet.

Avoid human medication for dogs with the kennel cough as these can cause poisoning. Make your dog comfortable and apply some treatments you use when you have a respiratory infection.