It’s that time of year when Kennel Cough raises it’s head again.
Kennel Cough is also known as Infectious Canine Tracheobronchitis. This virus is a highly transmittable respiratory disease. It causes inflammation of the trachea and the bronchi. A high percentage of dogs are infected at least once in their lifetime. This is an air-borne virus similar to the common human cold, some become ill whilst others don’t.
Young puppies are more at risk of contracting this virus as they have an immature immune system. They may suffer more severe complications. Older dogs and pregnant bitches are also at risk with decreased immune capabilities. Dogs with respiratory disease also carry a high risk.
Kennel cough is highly contagious
The most common cause of this virus is micro-organisms. Canine Adenovirus, parainfluenza virus and mycoplasma contribute to kennel cough. The symptoms of this virus can be alone or a combination of the viruses. Multiple infections tend to have more severe symptoms. The dog shows physical clinical signs of kennel cough around 3-4 days after exposure.
The main symptom is described as un-productive throat clearing, goose honking, hacking, dry, harsh, gagging, wheezing and croup-like sounds. Exercise might trigger the cough, or it might be throughout the day. It might be worse at night.
Common symptoms of the virus are:
– Persistent cough
– Nasal Discharge
– Mild cases, the dog is active and eating normally
– Severe cases, pneumonia, loss of appetite, fever, tiredness
Treatment depends on the severity of the infection. Minor symptoms are when your dog is still eating, active and alert. Give the dog general supportive immune booster with nutrition, rest and hydration. For more severe symptoms; medication is needed to reduce the inflammation of the throat. If there is a bacterial infection present a Veterinary prescribed antibiotic might help shorten it. It must run its course until it is worked out of the dog’s system. It will usually clear up without any complications. It takes 7 to 14 days to clear up.
Treatment can be using pure honey to soothe the throat – ½-1 teaspoon of honey twice daily. Viral Choice capsules are another option in assisting to boost the dogs’ immunity.
We also advise on a veterinary recommended cough syrup that can be used if the cough is very irritable.
Managing the spread of this virus is to keep the dog in isolation until they are fully recovered and no longer contagious.
MSD Animal Health sponsors all our puppies with Nobivac KC to protect them from kennel cough
There is a vaccination against Kennel cough being Nobivac KC which our puppies receive at 16 weeks of age from MSD Animal Health.
Even after vaccination, the dog may still succumb to kennel cough although it is likely to be less severe.
Be observant and prepared if you see any symptoms.