Kennel cough is a condition in which a dog's windpipe and upper bronchi are irritated and damaged by infectious microorganisms. Kennel cough can be caused by both bacteria and virus. Dog kennel cough is named variously like canine cough, infectious tracheobronchitis and bordetellosis
Characteristics Of Dog Kennel Cough
One of the first warning signs of kennel cough in dogs is a rough and dry, hacking cough that will show up with in a week of the dog having the initial infection. The damage is done through the bacteria and/ or viruses damaging the lining of the windpipe and bronchi, which exposes the nerve endings. The cough is caused when the dog breathes in and out and air is exposed to the endings of the nerves which irritates them.
Seriousness and Duration Of The Disease
Most cases of dog kennel cough are mild and do not change the dog's overall health or physical condition. The cough though can be irritating to the dog as it is persistent and the dog will cough every few minutes throughout the day. The use of antibiotics can be used to quicken the healing process but in the majority of cases most dogs will recover without it. Kennel cough can last up to three weeks
Transmission of the Disease
Like colds in human's dog kennel cough can be transmitted. Because the germ is carried through the air and can be inhaled by other dogs it can cause infections in other dogs, especially if the other dog is susceptible to the microbes. If the dog is sharing a kennel then the disease can be spread very quickly amongst the other dogs (hence the name kennel cough). But it can be acquired anytime and anywhere from an infected dog.
Treatment and Prevention
The veterinarian will typically prescribe cough-suppressing drugs to reduce the annoying cough. They will occasionally prescribe antibiotics to help manage the recovery from the infection, though most dogs will recover from the cough without medication.
There are some coughs which are similar to kennel cough that can b caused by other serious respiratory diseases, so it is important that the dog be examined by a vet. You can also prevent kennel cough by having your dog vaccinated against these infectious germs. Dogs that are not in frequent contact with other dogs have a reduced chance of getting kennel cough. If taking your dog to a show or having it bordered ensure that the dog is vaccinated a few week before hand to prevent from catching the disease.
By Gloria Gangi