Canine Kennel Cough Symptoms

Canine kennel cough is a dry cough that is caused by a respiratory infection also known as tracheobronchitis. The causes of kennel cough in dogs may include viruses or bacteria.

The condition may go away without treatment in dogs with a healthy immune system. However, it is important to notice symptoms and administer treatment, just to avoid the possible complications.

Symptoms of Kennel Cough

The kennel cough will be noticeable, as the dog will display a loud, dry cough that may also be accompanied by gagging.

The dog may also display exercise resistance; he may not be able to walk or run as much as he used to and frequently, the coughing and gagging will occur after an exercise session.

Also, if the dog wears a collar and this is tight, the dog will cough and gag. If the infection is more serious, the dog will display an elevated fever and will refuse to eat.

In some cases, a nasal discharge may be present.

The dog will also be less active and show signs of depression and hiding behavior. He may also sleep more than usual.

If the infection develops further, it may affect the lungs and cause pneumonia. In this case, the cough will turn to a productive, moist cough.

Kennel Cough Diagnosis

The kennel cough may be diagnosed based on the symptoms displayed by the dog. Also, if the dog has been in a kennel or in contact with infected dogs, there are high chances that the dog is infected.

The vet will palpate and press on the windpipe to determine if the cough is a symptom of tracheobronchitis.

The vet will perform a few blood tests and x-rays to determine if the infection hasn’t affected the lungs.

Treatment of Kennel Cough

Typically, the kennel cough is not a serious disease and will go away on its own if the dog has a healthy immune system and when there are no complications such as pneumonia.

However, if the dog is younger or has a weaker immune system, the dog must be treated to prevent the occurrence of pneumonia.

If pneumonia occurs, this may be fatal if treatment is not administered in a timely manner.

Antibiotics are most often administered for dogs with kennel cough to destroy the bacteria or viruses that cause the kennel cough. However, the treatment also depends on the cause of the infection which may be viruses, bacteria or both.

Cough suppressants may also be administered; however, if the cough is productive, these should be avoided.

To prevent dehydration, the dog should get plenty of fresh water.

The infection may be treated in a few weeks; however, if pneumonia occurs, the symptoms may persist for several weeks or even months.

Preventing Kennel Cough

The kennel cough can be prevented if your dog gets a vaccine. Yearly boosters should also be administered.

The kennel cough is typically contracted in kennels where there are a lot of dogs. Dogs that cough should be kept in isolation to protect the other dogs.