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Technically, dogs do not get colds. Instead, they get upper and lower respiratory infections. If
your dog sneezes, that may not be a serious health problem. If he or she coughs, it could be a
medical problem. It could be the highly infectious kennel cough.
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough comes under several names. It is bordetella or infectious tracheobronchitis. Both
terms relate to the bacteria and viruses that cause the problem. The name “kennel cough”
comes from the most common place a dog catches this cold.
No matter what the name, this infection affects the respiratory tract. It latches on to the nasal
passages, the windpipe and the bonchi. It is airborne and spreads quickly from animal to animal.
The actual cause of the infection can be either viral or bacterial in nature. It may be the canine
adenovirus-2 or canine parainfluenza virus or both or neither. Sometimes, kennel cough is a
charming combination of various viruses and bacteria.
Prevalence of Kennel Cough
Kennel cough rarely, if ever, happens to dogs who are not confined with other canines. Its
name indicates its happy medium. Kennel cough usually occurs among dogs who gather in
groups. This includes kennels, dog day care facilities and dog shows. Most certainly, it is prevalent
among puppy mills and other unscrupulous breeders.
Various signs indicate your canine has kennel cough. These include:
* Nasal discharge
* A hooping or hacking dry cough
* Possible lethargy
The symptoms appear to indicate some type of cold. They appear from 3 to 5 days following
exposure and may last as long as 8 to 10 days.
Treatment for kennel cough can take many forms. If you notice it in your dog, call your vet.
Take the precaution of isolating him or her from any other dog. Do not take her to a doggy day
care or put in close quarters with other canines.
If the infection does not clear up quickly, your vet will recommend antibiotics. You will need to
make sure he or she remains on them for the entire course of the problem. Your vet may also
suggest you use a cough suppressant.
For animals that are at high risk of exposure to the problem, your vet may recommend a
vaccination. The vet will vaccinate your dog with a single dose at between 6 and 8 weeks-or-
age. The second shot occurs between the age of 10 and 12 weeks. A booster annually will
keep the protection in place. While not foolproof, it is one of the better options. If you leave
your dog in kennels or day care facilities, you will find they insist on your dog receiving this
If you are worried about kennel cough, you can take certain preventive measures. These include:
* Providing adequate ventilation systems for your dogs if they are in a kennel or confined space
* Keep the kennel or dog homes clean
* Wash the toys and bowls
* Keep the toys and bowls of a sick animal separate from the others
Kennel cough is an annoying bacterial-viral airborne disease. It affects dogs who closely associate
with others. Kennels, dog shows and doggy care facilities are common breeding grounds for this
problem. You and your vet can successfully cure kennel cough. You can also, like many facilities
request, vaccinate your canine.
Article by Ben Clark; check out Petflow for natural dog food delivery on great brands like Blue
Buffalo dog food online!
Is It Kennel Cough?
By Ben Clark