Edgewood Animal Clinic Explains Kennel Cough - the contagious yet curable canine disease..
Kennel Cough, also known as infectious Tracheobronchitis is a very highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs. This disease represents inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. Kennel Cough is known to infect a very high percentage of dogs at least once during their lifetime. Young puppies and older dogs can suffer the most severe complications. Puppies have an underdeveloped immune system and senior dogs have decreased immune capabilities.
Symptoms in mild cases are: Dry hacking cough with secondary gagging, vomiting, and nasal discharge occuring. In severe cases, symptoms progress and can include pneumonia, fever, inappetance, lethargy and death.
Causes can stem from several different viruses and are transmitted through coughing, saliva and nasal discharge. Common areas where this can be prevalent for infection are kennels, salons, obedience classes and dog parks. The visible sign of onset of infection can occur three to four days after initial exposure and symptoms may last for up to three weeks.
Treatment - Depending on the severity of the infection and symptoms, there are two main types of treatment that can be given for canine Tracheobronchitis disease. If your dog is alert, but only has minor symptoms along with the recurrent cough, it is often left alone to go through the course of the disease. Sometimes a prescription will be given to your dog in order to reduce the severity and frequency of coughing episodes and to make the dog more comfortable. Antibiotics may be used if the dog is running a fever and showing signs of severe respiratory troubles, as this may indicate pneumonia.
Recovery - While your dog is recovering from the infection, allow it to breathe without anything that might irritate or constrict its throat - such as collars, scarves, or bandanas. Outdoor activity should be reduced to eliminations only. Exposure to other dogs should be restricted for one to two weeks. Grooming and obedience classes should be postponed until symptoms stop.
Management - We recommend yearly vaccinations against this disease to all pets who are kenneled, groomed, visit dog parks, training classes, or live with another pet that does. Because there are many strains of respiratory viruses and bacteria that can lead tio kennel cough symptoms, not all of these can be prevented by the vaccines currently available. Fortunately most of these are mild and self-limiting.