As dog owners, we always want to keep our furry friends healthy and happy. But despite our best efforts, sometimes our dogs can still get sick. One common ailment that dogs can suffer from is kennel cough. It’s a respiratory infection that can make your pup feel pretty miserable. In this blog post, we’ll explore how dogs get kennel cough, what the symptoms are, and how you can help your dog recover if they do get sick.
Kennel cough, scientifically known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It’s caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria, the most common being the bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria and the parainfluenza virus. Dogs most commonly contract kennel cough when they come into contact with infected respiratory secretions from other dogs. This can happen in various settings, such as dog parks, kennels, grooming facilities, or any place where dogs congregate in close quarters.
The very nature of kennel cough makes it easy for dogs to contract the illness. The bacteria and viruses that cause kennel cough are typically spread through the air and by direct contact with infected dogs. This means that if your dog is around other dogs that are infected, they are at risk of catching the illness. Even brief interactions, such as sniffing noses or sharing water bowls, can lead to transmission of the infection.
Symptoms of kennel cough often include a persistent dry cough, sometimes accompanied by retching or gagging. In some cases, dogs may also exhibit sneezing, nasal discharge, and mild lethargy. The cough can be quite concerning to witness, as it can sound like something is stuck in your dog’s throat. It’s important to note that while kennel cough can be uncomfortable for your dog, it’s typically not a life-threatening condition.
If you suspect that your dog has kennel cough, it’s essential to seek veterinary care. Your veterinarian can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment. In many cases, kennel cough will resolve on its own within a few weeks. However, in more severe cases, your vet may prescribe antibiotics to prevent secondary infections or cough suppressants to provide relief for your pup.
Preventing kennel cough is always preferable to treating it. While no vaccination can guarantee 100% immunity, vaccinations for bordetella and parainfluenza are available and are often recommended, especially for dogs that are frequently in contact with other dogs. Additionally, minimizing your dog’s exposure to potentially infected animals, ensuring good ventilation in enclosed spaces, and practicing good hygiene, such as regularly cleaning water and food bowls, can help reduce the risk of your dog contracting kennel cough.
As dog owners, it can be distressing to see our pets feeling unwell. Kennel cough is a common illness that many dogs experience at some point in their lives. By understanding how dogs get kennel cough and being proactive in prevention, we can help keep our furry companions healthy and happy. If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, remember that seeking veterinary care is crucial for their well-being. With proper care and attention, your dog can recover from kennel cough and get back to their playful, lively selves in no time.