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Kennel Cough

Gruda Veterinary Hospital highly recommends vaccinating your dog for kennel cough if they frequent boarding or daycare facilities, go to the dog groomer, dog park or they’re otherwise socializing with other dogs.  The intranasal vaccine provides the best protection, and protective antibodies start to become effective within 3-4 days. The injectable vaccine will take about 10-14 days to be effective.

For additional information please read the resource from LifeLearn below:

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough is a broad term covering any infectious or contagious condition of dogs where coughing is one of the major clinical signs. It is also referred to as infectious tracheobronchitis.

Several viruses and bacteria can cause kennel cough, often at the same time. These include adenovirus type-2, parainfluenza virus, canine coronavirus, and the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica.

Because the infection spreads when dogs are housed together, it is often seen soon after dogs have been in kennels, hence the name kennel cough. Because kennel cough can be caused by a number of pathogens, it is often referred to as the Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC).

What are the clinical signs of kennel cough other than coughing?

It is often a mild disease, but the cough may be chronic, lasting for several weeks in some cases. Common clinical signs include a loud cough often described as a ‘goose honk’, runny eyes and nose, swollen tonsils, wheezing, lack of appetite, and depressed behavior. Most dogs with infectious tracheobronchitis will cough when the throat is rubbed or palpated, or during and after exercise. Often, the hacking cough caused by kennel cough will persist for several weeks after the infection. If your dog has kennel cough it is unlikely that they will lose their appetite or become lethargic.

How does a dog get kennel cough?

Kennel cough is very contagious, and dogs can readily transmit it by casual contact such as sniffing each other when on a walk, playing, or sharing water dishes. Certain factors increase the likelihood that your dog may contract kennel cough including stress, cold temperatures, exposure to dust or smoke, and crowded conditions.

What is the treatment for infectious tracheobronchitis?

There is no specific treatment for the viral infections, but many of the more severe signs are due to bacterial involvement, particularly Bordetella bronchiseptica. Antibiotics are useful against this bacterium.

Some cases require prolonged treatment, but most infections resolve within one to three weeks. Mild clinical signs may linger for several weeks even when the bacteria have been eliminated. Cough suppressants and anti-inflammatory medications may provide relief in some cases.

How can I prevent my dog contracting kennel cough?

Most vaccination programs your veterinarian will recommend include adenovirus and parainfluenza. Bordetella vaccination is also highly recommended for dogs that are boarded, groomed, or interact with other dogs in areas such as dog parks.

How are the Bordetella vaccines administered?

Bordetella vaccination is given either by injection, oral or intra-nasal route. Intra-nasal refers to the liquid vaccine administered as nose drops. This allows local immunity to develop on the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and windpipe where the infectious agents first attack and provides more rapid protection against infection than the injectable vaccine.