Kennel cough or canine infectious tracheobronchitis, as it is also called, is a flu-like illness in humans. It does not endanger your dog’s life except in extreme cases, but we recommend that you do not ignore it and take the necessary steps to make the recovery quick.
The related symptomatology
As with humans, kennel cough may have several causes. The bacterium called Bordetelle bronchiseptica is the most common. Most dogs are infected with a virus that promotes infection with this bacterium. It is transmitted, most often, through the air and leads to an inflammation of the larynx.
There are also certain factors that favor infections. These include:
– Low temperatures;
– Agglomerated and/or poorly ventilated spaces, such as shelters, shelters or hotels for dogs;
– Exposure of the dog to cigarette dust or smoke;
– Stress factors such as long trips.
The classic symptom of kennel cough is a strong, persistent cough. Some dogs may also have other symptoms such as frequent sneezing, runny nose and slight neck irritation. Loss of appetite or decreased energy level are not symptoms that occur in this disease.
Diagnosis of kennel cough
The diagnosis of canine cough can be made by the veterinarian following blood tests that isolate the bacteria. X-ray of the chest and trachea can also be made.
Treatment and prevention of kennel cough
Kennel cough is contagious. If your dog is suspected of this disease, we recommend that you keep it away from other animals and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Although most cases of kennel cough can be resolved without treatment, medication contributes to faster healing and minimization of symptoms during infection. The treatment consists of antibiotics against Bortdetelle bacteria and cough medicines. Also, it is recommended to keep the dog in an environment with good humidity and to use a harness to the detriment of the scratch. These things will decrease the cough intensity.
Most dogs suffering from kennel cough can be fully cured within three weeks. In the case of elderly dogs or those suffering from other medical problems, it may take up to six weeks.
As serious infections can lead to pneumonia, a new discussion with your veterinarian is recommended if the symptoms do not disappear within the aforementioned time periods. Also, if your dog has a faster breathing rate, does not eat or listen, it is necessary to carry out analyzes because it may be a much more serious illness.
Therefore, we recommend that you focus on the prevention of this disease, following the following tips:
– Carefully choose the hotel or day care area where you leave your dog during the day or when you go on holiday;
– Analyze the animals your dog comes into contact with and if you notice any symptoms ask their owners if they have the vaccines made, including those against Bordetella bacteria;
– Go to your veterinarian regularly for early detection of any condition and help to heal faster.