How to treat kennel cough


The canine infectious tracheobronchitis, more commonly known as "kennel cough", is a pathology that affects the respiratory system and usually develops in places where a large number of dogs coexist, such as kennels or hatcheries. This fact was what gave rise to the popular name of the condition.

Formerly, this disease occurred only in those kennels or hatcheries with inadequate hygienic conditions. However, with the increase in animal protectors, abandoned pet shelters, dog walkers, dog shows and, in general, in places where a large number of dogs are concentrated, the pathology has spread more rapidly due to at its high rate of contagion, and not so much because of inappropriate conditions. If you suspect that your dog has been infected, keep reading this Animal Expert article and discover the symptoms and treatment of kennel cough.

What is canine infectious tracheobronchitis?

The kennel cough is a viral pathology, highly contagious, which is usually caused by the parainfluenza virus (PIC) or by canine adenovirus type 2, agents that weaken the respiratory tract and, as a consequence, facilitate the entry of opportunistic bacteria such as Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb), producing a bacterial infection and worsening the animal's clinical condition. However, there have also been cases in which the disease has developed due to the unique presence of the bacteria. Likewise, these are not the only causes of kennel cough, since there have also been cases of herpesvirus and even the virus that causes canine distemper.

In this way, we see how this pathology directly affects the respiratory system, producing in him an infection that can be more or less serious, depending on the agents that act, the external conditions and the time that the infected dog takes. To get a better idea of ​​the type of disease we face, we could say that the kennel cough is very similar to the flu that humans get.

It is an increasingly common condition among dogs, it is not serious and can be eradicated with a simple medical treatment.

How is kennel cough spread?

As we mentioned at the beginning, the most common is that the kennel cough develops in places where a significant number of dogs inhabit. In these cases, controlling the disease is much more difficult than when it is a particular and isolated case.

As with the flu, this pathology It is spread orally and nasally. Once the animal has been infected, viral agents can be transmitted to another dog during the first two weeksfor the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica The transmission can be extended up to three months. In this way, when a sick patient expels the pathogenic germs through the respiratory secretions, another healthy one that is close to him can acquire them and begin to develop the disease.

Puppies less than 6 months old are much more susceptible to this disease. Especially if we adopt a dog that has been exposed to important stress situations, such as being locked in a cage, we must take special care and carefully observe if any of the symptoms listed below.

In kennels, hatcheries, animal shelters, shelters with several dogs, etc., it is practically impossible to prevent the condition from spreading rapidly. Therefore, prevention is always the best solution. In the section dedicated to this point we will explain in detail how to prevent kennel cough.

On the other hand, there are no breeds more likely than others to get the cough of the kennels, however, there is a higher rate of infection among puppies, elderly dogs, pregnant dogs or immunosuppressed dogs.

Symptoms of kennel cough

¿How to know if your dog has a kennel cough? Once infected, the dog will begin to experience a series of clearly identifiable symptoms. The most characteristic manifestation of this pathology is the appearance of a dry, hoarse, strong and constant cough, caused by inflammation of the vocal cords.

In more advanced cases, the cough may be accompanied by a slight expectoration of secretions deposited in the respiratory system by pathogenic germs. This expulsion is often confused with a mild vomiting or foreign body. To the extent possible, it is advisable to reserve a sample and take it to the veterinarian so you can examine it. In this way, in addition to analyzing the physical appearance of your dog, you can study the expelled secretion and offer a better diagnosis. You should know that these moderate vomiting are not caused by stomach problems, remember that this disease only affects the respiratory system. They develop by the same inflammation and irritation of the throat caused by dry cough.

The decay, general malaise, lack of appetite and energy are other symptoms of the cough of the most common bitches. If you notice that your dog presents any of these signs, do not hesitate and go to the vet quickly. Although it is not a serious illness, it does require veterinary treatment to cure it and prevent it from getting worse.

And if secondary infections appear, the dog may present fever, weakness, ocular and / or nasal discharge, shortness of breath, etc.

In kennels, kennels, or pet stores, exposed to stressful conditions, it is possible that infectious canine tracheobronchitis can lead to pneumonia.

My dog ​​has a dry cough and retching, is it a kennel cough?

Dry cough and retching or mild vomiting are the main symptoms of kennel cough, so it is usual to think about this respiratory pathology when seeing these signs in the dog. Likewise, it is easy to confuse the cough with arcades, so, to be sure, it is best to visit the veterinarian to perform the relevant tests and determine if it is a case of canine infectious tracheobronchitis or not.

On the other hand, these signs not only appear in a kennel cough box, but are common to multiple problems related to the respiratory system. For example, they occur due to pharyngitis, bronchitis and even distemper.

Diagnosis of kennel cough

¿How to detect kennel cough? To diagnose this disease, the veterinarian will rely mainly on the symptoms, physical examination and the patient's history. That is, if it is a puppy that originates from a hatchery or a kennel with a large number of dogs, it is most likely that you suspect this pathology. Also, to guarantee the diagnosis, the specialist will request the performance of tests as a blood test, study of secretions collected by caregivers or radiography.

Treatment for kennel cough

In particular cases, the first thing we should do is isolate the sick dog inside the home, in a room just for him for at least seven days, or the duration of the treatment. This step is essential to prevent the spread of the disease and spread to neighboring dogs.

Once isolated, the easiest way to control and eradicate kennel cough is by antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Depending on the condition of the dog and the progress of the disease, the veterinarian will choose to prescribe one type of medication or another. Since several viral agents can participate in the development of this pathology, it is practically impossible to determine a standard medical treatment suitable for all cases. It is best to go to your usual veterinary clinic to be a specialist who determines the best treatment to cure the kennel cough.

In dogs that have decay and lack of appetite, we must ensure that they eat the minimum amount of water stipulated by the veterinarian to prevent dehydration, dilute secretions deposited in the respiratory tract and promote ventilation.

Kennel cough in puppies

The puppies they are the most susceptible and prone to catching cough from kennels. Therefore, when adopting one, it is necessary to go to the veterinarian for a complete examination in which he confirms that the animal is in perfect condition. In addition, it will be useful to start the vaccination and deworming calendar.

Although kennel cough in puppies has a cure, if left untreated the animal could get worse to the point of death due to intrusion of opportunistic bacteria and the development of secondary infections.

How long does the kennel cough last?

There is no set period of time, since the patient's recovery depends entirely on the pathogen and the complications that may have arisen, such as the development of secondary infections, etc. If, for example, the kennel cough has been caused by the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica, or it has worsened the clinical picture, the animal can take weeks and even months to recover, since this bacterium can remain in the respiratory system for up to 3 months or more, especially if it is not fought.

Once the treatment is started, if it is appropriate, curing the kennel cough can lead from one week to two. Of course, if you do not notice an improvement in the affected animal or observe serious side effects, you should go to the veterinarian immediately.

How to prevent kennel cough?

Without a doubt, the best way to treat any contagious disease is through prevention. In kennels, hatcheries, pet stores, etc., it is essential to have a proper hygiene and optimal general conditions to preserve the health of dogs. When this fails, the pathogens are more easily developed and begin to spread the disease.

On the other hand, there is a kennel cough vaccine, designed to protect the dog from this specific pathology, the Bb + PIC. However, the kennel cough vaccine is not available in all countries and, therefore, we cannot always use this preventive method. In this sense, it is essential to keep up to date the calendar of compulsory vaccines for dogs, because although they do not prevent the appearance of kennel cough, it does help reduce symptoms and facilitate healing.

Is the kennel cough vaccine effective?

Although the kennel cough vaccine is one of the main prevention measures, the truth is that does not guarantee that the animal will not contract it. Thus, a vaccinated dog can become infected with canine infectious tracheobronchitis. However, it should be noted that, in general, the vaccine allows the disease to spread much milder than in an unvaccinated dog, so it is much more likely to recover soon or suffer less severe symptoms. Therefore, especially in those dogs that live in communities, it is recommended to vaccinate.

Is kennel cough spread to humans?

Due to the rapidity with which this pathology spreads, it is not surprising that many wonder if the kennel cough is also spread to humans. Well, being the Bordetella bronchiseptica related to the Bordetella pertussis, bacteria responsible for whooping cough in children, there are cases of both children and adults affected by this pathogen and, therefore, canine infectious tracheobronchitis is considered a zoonosis. However, the rare cases in which this happens have occurred in people with a very weakened immune system (immunosuppressants), such as HIV patients, patients who follow a glucocorticoid-based therapy for a long period of time, etc. . In this way, we highlight, Rarely, kennel cough affects humans.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Kennel cough - Symptoms, treatment and contagion, we recommend that you enter our section of Respiratory Diseases.

CBD for dogs: discover how to calm your pet's anxiety and stress

3 weeks before

You want to know how to treat kennel cough? Before you start you have to know that it is a viral disease It affects dogs and whose most visible symptom is dry cough.

Keep reading because we are going to tell you how to combat this health problem.

Tips for treating kennel cough

The best way to combat this viral ailment is with a effective prevention strategy, starting with the vaccination of your pet at 6 months of age.

If you do not want to take any risk (and because the most responsible thing is to give all the medical care to your dog) you should never forget their annual vaccines.

You should always do it, but it is especially important if your dog is in regular contact with more dogs.

How to treat kennel cough

The most common medications are antibiotics and syrups that help relieve symptoms. Depending on your pet, you will need a different medication and the veterinarian will assess your condition.

Never self-medicate your dog, It should be a professional who prescribes the doses. Once the treatment has begun, it is normal for you to improve within a week. But each case is a world, and there may even be dogs that need anti-inflammatories and antibiotics to treat a cough.

If your dog also lives with more dogs, it is advisable to isolate him because the kennel cough is very contagious. The cough is spread by the bacteria that the dog expels when coughing.

As we have commented before, The best way to treat kennel cough is with a preventive vaccine.

It is applied when your dog is 6 months old and every year, he gets vaccinated again. This revaccination is very important for dogs with lung, heart problems or who spend time in residences or shelters with more dogs.

This sickness in autumn and winter it is when it causes the most damage, the cold attacks the dog's defenses very aggressively And it is just then that this virus can invade your body.

The importance of vaccines in general and in particular that of cough must be very clear. Many people do not vaccinate against kennel cough and then lament the consequences.

In shelters where many dogs live together, the kennel cough expands with amazing ease with just one outbreak.

The responsible thing is to prevent and vaccines are the most effective measure to avoid unexpected infections.

In addition to medication it is convenient to continue Certain guidelines to take care of your dog and recover soon. If you are a smoker, avoid doing it near him, or rather, don't smoke at home because you will cause more cough and your throat will be more irritated.

You can also help relieve cough, making it breathe Mint essence vapors. Boil water with essences of this herb, turn off and leave the container near where your dog rests.

While you are sick and if you need a bath, you can do it. But let it be a hot bath(You can take the opportunity to put herbal essence to clear your throat) and then you will have to dry all the fur so that there is no moisture left.

While ill, it is recommended that don't exercise because the air will enter very fast and irritate the airways, making the cough worse.

Also when you go for a walk in winter, you can put on some clothes that protect your body from the cold. It is recommended that these days the collar does not press your throat, you better use a harness or even a soft handkerchief.

If you found this post useful, can you help me spread the word? Twitter , Facebook , G + e Instagram? Share your experiences about it, together we can learn a lot to take care of our furry friends. If you also want to know how to care for your dog with osteoarthritis, read this post.

Dog care with cough: complementary therapies

If your dog has been diagnosed with kennel cough you can go for a walk normally, but it is better avoid big efforts and it is useful replace the use of the collar with a harness, since when pulling the belt, the collar puts pressure directly on the trachea and cough reflex is easily caused.

As for your nutrition during this flu periodremember to leave clean water at your disposal and bring you soft food the first days of treatment to prevent discomfort when swallowing.

There are complementary treatments that help your dog keep his immune system in an optimal state and help prevent and fight infections. Currently, you can find vitamin supplements, with amino acids or nucleotides specific for pets. The PhytotherapywithEchinacea It can boost the immune system. A veterinarian will guide you about this type of natural therapy.

Kennel Cough Prevention

Due to the social and exploratory behavior of dogs, it is very difficult to control exposure to infectious agents of any kind, but we cannot deprive them of walking, play or socialization with other dogs. Fortunately, the vaccination It can help us prevent many infectious and contagious diseases.

The kennel cough is spread throughout the peninsular geography and the infectious tracheobronchitis vaccine It is being included in the canine vaccination plans. There are vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Adenovirus type 2 and Parainfluenza. Can be applied from 8 weeks of life and two doses and annual revaccination are generally necessary to maintain its effectiveness. With this, we will ensure that the body can eliminate infectious agents more quickly and prevent the development of the disease.

The risk of getting kennel cough is higher in dog concentrations, so it is convenient to avoid these places if our dog is not vaccinated. In addition it is usually a prerequisite to entry into many dog ​​residences. Request an appointment with your veterinarian to guide you on the most appropriate vaccination schedule for your dog.

What is the kennel cough?

It is a disease caused by bacteria Bordetella Bronchiseptica, which attacks the dogs respiratory systemIn addition, the disease can increase its severity when a second bacterium acts: Mycoplasma spp. This disease is also called dog cough, Canine infectious tracheobronchitis or Canine respiratory complex..

The dog cough bacteria lodges in the trachea and the dog's bronchi, which makes it difficult for him to breathe. For that reason, they desperately seek air, just as if they were drowning, generating the sound of a characteristic cough of this disease.

Affected dogs open as much as they can the snout looking for air to enter their lungs, by doing that, we think they are drowning with something they ate. East the first indication of the disease.

What comes after the dog's arcades is the expulsion of a vomit, commonly white and sparkling, which is which confirms that the dog is infected.

The kennel cough is characterized by being a dry and strong cough. It is really desperate to watch a dog suffering from it, as it makes a great effort to cough and to expel vomiting.

It is more common for kennel coughs to affect dogs found in nursing homes, nurseries, street dog shelters, special pet parks, canine hotels, etc. This is because it is a highly contagious infectious disease. Dogs become infected on contact with the bacteria which is found in the secretion or vomit that dogs infected with dog coughs expel.

This means that if your dog is infected, you should not take it to places where other dogs are located, in order to prevent kennel cough from spreading. It is also necessary to be very attentive when walking the dog and this is in the street vomiting with the characteristics described above. Well, our pets by nature inspect what they find on the street. For this it is very important to educate your dog from a puppy.

Causes of the disease

This complex may involve more than one infectious agent that can be combined or appear sequentially: the most commonly detected bacterial agent is the Bordetella bronchiseptica and in the second instance Mycoplasma spp. The viral components are the viruses of the Parainfluenza Y Adenovirus type 2 canine, less frequent the Herpesviruscanino and the reovirus canine.

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a primary and very frequent pathogen. By itself it can cause infectious tracheobronchitis. It is widely spread in the nasal cavity, and has been found in the lungs of healthy dogs.

Clinical picture

The clinical signs appear 3 to 4 days post - infection, it is a localized respiratory infection. Affected dogs have a dry and raucous cough, a tendency to expectorate little mucus (as if retaining a foreign body in the upper respiratory tract - a reason for frequent consultation) and there may be mucous or mucopurulent nasal discharge of varying duration. Lesions may be acute tracheobronchitis and purulent exudate.

In mild cases, the dog continues to eat, drink water and with its normal activity, but in the most severe cases, the dog really looks sick. It has lethargy, fever, lack of appetite, dyspnea, intolerance to exercise, can reach pneumonia and even death. Most severe cases occur in immunosuppressed animals and puppies without vaccines. There is local immunity and it appears 20 days after infection (immunoglobulin A).

Epidemiology of Kennel Cough

It affects dogs of all ages, especially those found in hatcheries, nurseries, hairdressers, veterinary hospitals, pet shops and those that are loose in the streets ...

It is a highly contagious disease spread through coughing and sneezing by spray and by indirect contact (utensils, clothing or personnel).

Diagnosis of Kennel Cough

The diagnosis of RA can be made according to clinical symptoms and presence of characteristic lesions, and according to laboratory tests, the latter being the ones that will confirm the diagnosis.

Laboratory: Bacterial cultures, viral isolation, and other blood tests may be performed, but due to the nature of the signs, they are not performed as routine.

Kennel Cough Treatment:

Avoid situations of stress and agitation. Fluidizing bronchial secretions, antibiotic therapy and according to professional glucocorticoid criteria can be used.

The antibiotic of choice for Bordetella and Mycoplasma is DOXICICLINE. DOXICICLINE has the highest degree of liposolubility among all tetracyclines, penetrating directly as an active drug through the double lipid membrane of infectious agents, even attacking some strains resistant to other tetracyclines.

Dose of DOXICICLINE: 10 MG / Kg. once a day, for 15 days or according to professional criteria.

Prophylaxis / Prevention:

Separate the sick from the healthy. Improve environmental conditions, periodically disinfect alternating products (lavandina, chlorhexidine).

Multiple vaccines available, usually immunize against Parainfluenza and Adenovirus. Even if the dog has been vaccinated it can get the disease, but in a less severe way. Vaccines intranasal: stimulate the production of immunoglobulin "A" or local and protect for 10-12 months.

Dog Cough Symptoms

When we have had dogs for years, we know their behavior and learn to identify when something is wrong, because they do not act as they normally do. That's when we turn on the alerts and we can detect something strange that may be happening.

If you notice any of these symptoms of dog cough you need to take your pet as soon as possible to the veterinarian:

  • Difficulty breathing. The dog keeps panting to look for air to reach his lungs.
  • A strong cough And very dry.
  • They start to segregate mucus more and more frequently. In some cases you can see secretion in your nasal passages.
  • Sometimes they present greenish phlegm.
  • The cough usually generates them vomiting White and foamy consistency.
  • It is not common to present fever. However, in isolated cases, fever affects them as a sign that the infection has progressed affecting other organs.
  • Usually arch the body as looking for a way to expel an object that is hindering the airway.
  • If the dog vomits a yellow color, it is not a kennel cough.
  • They can sneeze more than usual
  • Something that can confuse us is that, with this disease, the dog usually does not lose appetite. They continue to eat and ingest water normally. In some cases, losing your appetite is a sign that your throat hurts when you eat.
  • With the dog cough your eyes can also get affected and start a eye discharge.
  • In some cases, dogs have fatigue, especially when the disease is advanced.

If the kennel cough is not treated in time, the dog can end up with pneumonia, which can be much more delicate for our pet, and can lead to death.

How to prevent the spread of cough from kennels

Whenever we have a pet dog we must be aware of where they sleep and make sure it is clean. In addition, we must avoid sleeping directly on the floor, since the cold can cause bacteria diseases or caused by the same cold in your body, the kennel cough is sometimes spread by that route.

When we make their usual exit to the street and parks intended for them to play and share with other dogs, we must be aware of what they eat and prevent them from taking things from the ground. Also, be aware of the other dogs, if they haveany symptoms of sneezing or coughing, this may be a sign that they are infected with the bacteria that causes kennel cough.

Take your dog regularly to the veterinarian to have their respective check-ups and thus rule out diseases that often do not present a lack of appetite or fever, this being the case of the kennel cough.

Be very attentive to the grooming of the dog, bathe it in the period that corresponds.

There are vaccines for prevent canine infectious tracheobronchitis, so it is recommended to consult the veterinarian about the placement of this vaccine to your pet. These vary according to their presentation, which can be in nasal or injectable drops. Ask your veterinarian about the dose and how often you should give your dog that vaccine.