Kennel Cough Treatment with Amoxicillin (Clavamox)

Finding the right kennel cough treatment is necessary when one or more of your dogs develops this highly contagious infection. Kennel cough has similar symptoms to bronchitis and causes your dog to experience a dry, hacking cough. The dog will generally not experience any other symptoms and should feel and act otherwise normal, however, to stop the infection from rapidly spreading, treatment with a drug called amoxicillin (commonly called Clavamox) may be your best bet.

Kennel Cough

When selecting the proper kennel cough treatment, it's important to know what's causing the infection. While kennel cough itself is not necessarily harmful, it can be the result of another more serious underlying infection. Diseases like parainfluenza virus, canine adenovirus, distemper, herpesvirus and reovirus can all make a dog more susceptible to kennel cough. It's important to look for other symptoms when kennel cough is present, to determine if additional or alternative treatments may be necessary. If your dog is very young or the kennel cough doesn't improve after about a week of treatment, further testing and treatment may be beneficial.


Clavamox is an antibiotic that can be purchased by prescription only. It is used as a kennel cough treatment, as well as for other infections caused by bacteria. This particular drug couples amoxicillin with clavulanic acid and is sold in tablet or liquid form. Amoxicillin is closely related to penicillin, but provides a broader spectrum of antibacterial properties. While this combination of drugs is generally effective in treating kennel cough, any built up resistances to antibiotics may affect it's ability to control the infection.

Side Effects

Clavamox is generally considered safe for kennel cough treatment, but as is the case with any medication, there is a potential for side effects. To decrease stomach irritation and prevent vomiting, give this drug with food. If vomiting becomes a serious problem, this may be cause for action. Due to the change in bacterial population in the dog's intestines, it's common for your dog to experience diarrhea and loose stool while taking the drug. Diarrhea should not be severe and shouldn't last longer than 3 days. The presence of yeast or fungal infections can increase with use of this drug.

Other Cautions and Considerations

Do not used amoxicillin for kennel cough treatment if your dog has a sensitivity or allergies associated with drugs of this type. Drugs like chloramphenicol, allopurinol, probenecid and tetracycline can cause a serious reaction when given with amoxicillin. Always be sure to avoid any type of drug interaction when administering amoxicillin by researching each drug and it's safety information. If signs of an allergic reaction are present, such as shortness of breath, rash, drowsiness, hyperactivity or kidney problems, stop giving the drug immediately. Do not double up on the prescribed dose, and if you miss administration of a dosage, simply give it as soon as possible. Continue to use the prescribed dosage until the prescription is complete, even after your dog's symptoms appear to be improved.