Canine Kennel Cough Treatment with Aminophylline

Canine kennel cough treatment with aminophylline is based on the severity of the condition. A mild case of kennel cough will need a different treatment plan than a severe case will.

Aminophylline and Kennel Cough

Aminophylline is a bronchodilator which helps dogs breathe better. Aminophylline works in 3 different ways:

  • It calms the muscles in your dog's chest and lungs which allows for better air flow.
  • It helps to reduce the lung's sensitivity to pollutants and allergens which can cause discomfort and inflammation.
  • It enhances the diaphragm's contractions to increase air flow into your dog's lungs.

Treatment for Mild Kennel Cough

Mild kennel cough happens much more often than the severe form. Slight cases of kennel cough often dissolve on their own after a short period of time. By ensuring your dog is fed a high quality dog food with optimal nutrition, your pet's immune system will be strengthened. Keeping his environment as clean as possible will also minimize the effects of kennel cough and help in infection control.

While medications may not be necessary in all cases, cough suppressants can ease your dog's cough. Giving him a bronchodilator like aminophylline can also help him better breathe in comfort.

Treating a mild canine kennel cough with aminophylline or antibiotics will not shorten the amount of time that your pet is a possible spreader of this disease. He may be contagious for up to 14 weeks after recovery.

Treatment for Severe Kennel Cough

When a dog has a severe case of kennel cough, it must be treated more aggressively. Antibiotics may be given to treat a bacterial infection. Medications to lower fever and aminophylline can also be administered to the dog as part of his treatment. 

Unlike the milder version of kennel cough, the more severe form does not warrant the administering of cough suppressants or steroids. These drugs have an effect of suppressing the immune system which in turn will not help in fighting further infection.

In severe cases, a veterinarian should be consulted as pneumonia can result and cause critical harm.

Multiple Dog Settings

In households with multiple dogs or other pets, antibiotics and aminophylline may be recommended for all pets involved. Kennel cough is highly contagious and exposure to each animal is almost assured. Cats may pass the kennel cough to dogs and dogs may pass the infection to cats. All pets in a single household should be given medication upon determining that one of their pets is infected with kennel cough.

When dogs are placed in settings where exposure to many animals occur, vaccination is recommended. Dog shows, obedience classes, kennels, and veterinary hospitals are all places where your dog may inadvertently be exposed to an infected animal.

For your dog's comfort, it is recommended that your pet's collar be removed and fitted with a harness or head collar instead when he is afflicted with kennel cough. Once your pet no longer has kennel cough, his normal collar can be put back on. A traditional collar can put pressure on your pet's throat and irritate the cough more.