Dog Kennel Cough Treatment with Azithromycin

Kennel cough in dogs is one of the most commonly occurring infectious diseases. Kennel cough is typically a bacterial infection caused by bacteria that spread between dogs. As the name suggests, the disease is common in kennels and other locations where a large number of animals are present in a closed space. Kennel cough is also known as bordetella, and is very rarely a life-threatening or serious condition.

When to Treat Kennel Cough with Medicine

Most cases of kennel cough begin to show symptoms a few weeks after your pet contracts the disease. In almost all cases, kennel cough manifests itself as a dry wheeze. Your dog's cough will occur every few minutes throughout the day, and will likely sound like he is clearing his throat.

Kennel cough typically resolves itself in a few days. In persistent cases, the symptoms may remain for 2 weeks or more before gradually diminishing. Although your pet may be uncomfortable, kennel cough will generally not pose any major threat to his health.

In a small number of dogs, kennel cough does not clear up on its own. Dogs that are particularly young or old or dogs with weakened immune systems tend to fall into this category. If your pet's symptoms persist for longer than 2 weeks, or if he coughs up any mucous or other discharge as a result of kennel cough, you may need to speak with a vet for a prescription medicine to help clear up his symptoms.

Treating Kennel Cough with Azithromycin

Azithromycin is an antibiotic that is formulated for human use. Veterinarians will oftentimes prescribe to treat bacterial infections as well, though it hasn't been approved by the FDA for this use. It is available under the brand name Zithromax.

Azithromycin is commonly used to address the symptoms of moderate to severe kennel cough. It is only available through prescription, meaning that you will have to take your pet in to a veterinarian in order to receive a prescription for the drug. This medicine is available as an oral tablet or as an injection. The exact dosage depends primarily upon your dog's weight, though the severity of the condition and symptoms may also affect the administration schedule.

Before treating your pet with Azithromycin, make sure to notify your veterinarian of any allergic reactions or underlying liver conditions that your pet may be experiencing. These can lead to dangerous side effects. Otherwise, the most common side effects of this antibiotic are vomiting, diarrhea and indigestion. In very rare cases, dogs may experience arrhythmias or renal damage as a result of treatment with Azithromycin.

Kennel cough is generally not a serious condition, and almost all cases cause only mild discomfort and will clear itself up over a matter of days. If your pet's symptoms are severe, or if they do not improve after an extended period of time, an antibiotic like Azithromycin can help to treat the infection quickly. Consult with your veterinarian for further information and for a prescription.