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Dog kennel cough

Dog Kennel Cough

Kennel cough refers to a condition in dogs, in which there is repeated and excessive coughing, without any other accompanying symptoms.

It is a very infectious condition and can become aggravated if left untreated. Kennel cough is caused by a combination of bacteria and viruses and as such diagnosis may sometimes become difficult. Symptoms include a hacking, harsh cough. This is similar to what humans experience when affected with a cold. The cough can spread quite easily among dogs.

Dog Kennel Cough Causes

Kennel cough in dogs affects the upper respiratory tract. It usually results from another underlying condition such as heart disease, throat tumors, pneumonia, periodontal disease, parasites and allergies. Timely treatment of these conditions will also help to alleviate kennel cough. The main causes of kennel cough are the viruses known as canine parainfluenza-3 and canine adenovirus Type 2; and the bacteria called bordetella bronchiseptica. Canine parainfluenza-3 infects the cells of the upper respiratory tract, while canine adenovirus Type 2 causes infection inside the lungs.

The bacteria may be contracted through direct contact with infected animals. They may also grow inside the dog’s body.

Dog Kennel Cough Symptoms

Kennel cough symptoms include severe dog coughing. This may sometimes even lead to retching. Sneezing, gagging and nasal discharge may also occur. In later stages, pneumonia, fever and sluggishness may develop.

Dog Kennel Cough Treatments

Kennel cough usually subsides on its own in about a couple of weeks. There is no cure for this disease, although cough medication may be administered to alleviate the symptoms and reduce discomfort. It is not advisable to use over the counter medicine for treating the signs of kennel cough. The veterinarian usually prescribes a dose of antibiotics to counter the bacterial infection. Vitamin C may also be given to the dog to improve immunity and reduce infection. There is also a vaccine for kennel cough which helps to enhance immunity as well as prevents future incidences of the disease. Caring for the dog at home involves allowing him to rest and sleep adequately. Giving the dog a teaspoon of honey daily will help to ease the pain caused by the constant coughing. Placing a vaporizer or humidifier next to the kennel will ease dry coughing. Eucalyptus or lavender oil may be added to the vaporizer. Tea made out of peppermint or licorice root is also beneficial in alleviating cough. Add the tea to the dog’s drinking water. The dog must also be encouraged to drink lots of water and must be kept warm and comfortable.

  Submitted on May 3, 2010  

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