Kennel cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs.
It is caused by a combination of viral and bacterial agents and spreads easily among dogs in close quarters, such as kennels, shelters, and grooming facilities.
In this article, we will discuss what kennel cough is, what causes it, how to prevent it, and treatment options.
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is a respiratory infection that affects the trachea and bronchi of dogs.
It is characterized by a persistent cough, which can be dry or productive, and can cause gagging or retching.
The cough can be accompanied by sneezing, nasal discharge, and a fever. The infection can range from mild to severe, and can lead to pneumonia in some cases.
What causes Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is caused by a combination of viral and bacterial agents.
The most common viral agents include parainfluenza, adenovirus, and distemper.
The most common bacterial agents include Bordetella bronchiseptica and Streptococcus equi. These agents can infect the respiratory tract of dogs and cause inflammation, leading to the characteristic cough.
Kennel Cough prevention
The best way to prevent kennel cough is to ensure that dogs are up to date on their vaccinations, particularly for Bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza.
It is also important to practice good hygiene, such as cleaning and disinfecting kennels and grooming facilities regularly.
In addition, avoiding overcrowding and ensuring adequate ventilation can help prevent the spread of the infection.
Kennel Cough symptoms
Symptoms of kennel cough can include a persistent, dry or moist cough, sneezing, nasal discharge, and a fever.
Some dogs may also have a decreased appetite and a reduced energy level. In severe cases, pneumonia may develop.
Kennel Cough treatment
Treatment for kennel cough typically involves antibiotics to treat the bacterial component of the infection, and supportive care to help the dog breathe more easily.
This can include cough suppressants, bronchodilators, and mucolytics. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary for dogs with severe symptoms.
How long is Kennel Cough contagious for dogs?
Kennel cough is highly contagious and can spread easily among dogs in close quarters.
The length of time that a dog is contagious depends on the underlying cause of the infection, but it can be up to a few weeks.
Kennel Cough vaccines
Vaccines are available to protect dogs against kennel cough caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza.
These vaccines are typically given as intranasal sprays or as injectable vaccines.
It is important to note that these vaccines do not provide 100% protection against kennel cough, but they can reduce the severity of the infection if a dog does become infected.
Kennel Cough home remedies and natural treatments
There are several home remedies and natural treatments that can be used to alleviate the symptoms of kennel cough. These include:
- Steam therapy: using a humidifier to add moisture to the air can help to loosen mucus and make it easier for a dog to cough up.
- Honey: honey has antimicrobial properties and can help to soothe a dog’s throat.
- Herbs: herbs such as thyme, echinacea, and elderberry can be used to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin C: vitamin C can help to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Is Kennel Cough contagious to humans?
Kennel cough is not contagious to humans.
The viral and bacterial agents that cause kennel cough are specific to dogs and do not affect humans.
However, it is still important to practice good hygiene when caring for dogs with kennel cough to prevent the spread of the infection to other dogs.
Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs.
It is caused by a combination of viral and bacterial agents and can range from mild to severe.
Vaccination and good hygiene are the best ways to prevent kennel cough, and treatment typically involves antibiotics and supportive care.
While kennel cough is not contagious to humans, it is still important to take precautions to prevent the spread of the infection.