Advice on Kennel Cough from Twin Valley Vets

MINI-tvvsIf your dog has ever gone to a groomer, a dog park, into a kennel, or in a shelter he/she may be at risk for Kennel Cough.  What is kennel cough and how can I treat my dog?  Prevention is key!

Kennel cough is a bacterium that is spread through infectious airborne respiratory secretions or through contaminated objects (bedding, etc).  Once your dog has picked up the bacteria it becomes attached to the cilia (hair-like protrusions) in the respiratory tract.  Once the respiratory tract has this bacterium it begins to invade cells and can become persistent for months or even put your dog in a carrier state.  The incubation period is 6 days.  The incubation period is the time between exposure of an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms of kennel cough.

Affected dogs are usually healthy otherwise and typically exhibit coughing episodes.  These coughing episodes can sound like a high-pitched retching noise.  It sounds like your dog is “honking” and may vomit depending on the degree of coughing.  If your dog gets a secondary infection it could turn into pneumonia.  Keep an eye out for signs of pneumonia such as lethargy, fever, no appetite, has a hard time breathing, and/or nasal discharge.

With Kennel Cough there is typically no treatment.  Monitor your dog to see if the coughing is progressing into pneumonia. Prevention is key!  Vaccinate your dogs if you know that they are going to put in high risk situations!  If you have any questions please call us at (306) 745-6642.

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