Ask A Vet: How can dogs catch kennel cough?

Ask A Vet: How can dogs catch kennel cough?

Suppose your big boy is coughing away or constantly making weird noises that sound like it's choking on something. In that case, your pup may be suffering from kennel cough, also less known as the canine infectious tracheobronchitis. Even though kennel cough can sound terrible, it is not a severe condition, and most dogs will recover from it without any treatment.

If you're worried your pup might have kennel cough, read this article and contact your vet. 

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough is the commonly used name for infectious bronchitis in dogs. Like chest infections in humans, numerous different viruses and bacteria can cause this illness. It's usually a mix of both. It usually affects the dog's respiratory system, causing them to cough uncontrollably.

What does a dog coughing sound like?

The most evident apparent symptom of kennel cough is a forced, hacking cough, which often sounds like your dog has something stuck in its throat. The cough can be hoarse and dry, in which case it will be followed by a gag, a swallowing motion, or even the production of mucus.

It is different from a cough-like sound called reverse sneezing, which is very common in certain breeds of dogs and is sometimes triggered by irritation in the pup's throat. This sound is often mistaken for a cough, choking fit, sneezing, retching, or gasping for breath.

Other symptoms besides a cough?

In most cases, poor dogs suffering from kennel cough will appear relatively healthy other than the coughing. But some pups will have eye discharge, sneezing, or a runny nose. You should retain your dog's appetite if that happens.

Symptoms usually progress three to ten days after being exposed to any infected animal. Dogs with kennel cough will eat and act normally. Exercise can make the symptoms worse. 

How do dogs catch kennel cough?

Kennel cough is transferred through the atmosphere and is highly contagious; hence it can spread through kennels rapidly. Bacteria also transmit it on food bowls, toys, and other shared objects.

Your dog's respiratory system is designed to shield against infections, but some environments and situations leave our big boys more vulnerable to such illnesses.

Kennel cough has a maturing period of two to fourteen days, and some pups can even be the carriers of this infection for weeks without developing any symptoms.

Is kennel cough dangerous?

Although kennel cough is a nuisance, it is not usually dangerous and is highly likely to need no treatment, severe or otherwise. But in elderly dogs, little pups, unvaccinated dogs, or those with other existing illnesses, the condition can be more powerful and sometimes develop into pneumonia.

How to treat and prevent kennel cough:

The kennel cough is highly contagious. If you think your pup has this condition and is showing the symptoms mentioned above, you should keep them away from other animals so as not to infect them, too, and then contact your veterinarian.


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