Kennel Cough is on the increase this year – has your dog been affected?

  • Canine infectious tracheobronchitis or a kennel cough, is an upper respiratory infection
  • A kennel cough is named as it can very quickly spread through canines that are housed with other dogs or boarded in kennels
  • There are many treatments available, including vaccinations, medication and natural remedies

At this time of the year, when many owners place their dogs into boarding facilities during holiday periods, kennel cough becomes an increasing worry. Although many owners vaccinate their pets against a kennel cough before they go into boarding, any pets that go to training classes, meet in the park, go for grooming or who attend day-care, also need to be vaccinated against this very contagious, canine respiratory disease.

What is a kennel cough?

Tracheobronchitis is the medical title given to a complex of bacterial and viral organisms that cause inflammation in the dog’s upper respiratory system. One of the main culprits is Bordetella bronchi septic, but there may also be infection involving mycoplasma bacteria and the parainfluenza virus. A kennel cough is highly contagious and can very quickly spread through a kennel infecting every dog in its path.  The infection is normally contracted through nose to nose contact, but a dog may pick up the disease from any surface, or even from drinking from a contaminated area.

Symptoms to look out for

Symptoms last for around 6 weeks, and your dog will probably be refusing his food, be feverish and lethargic and may have runny eyes. He will have a dry, hacking cough that is both debilitating and distressing for your pet and for you too, as it appears he has something lodged in his throat. Your dog may cough every two to three minutes and more so when exercising or taking part in an activity.

For the majority of pets, the infection isn’t life threatening, but if you have a dog such as a bull dog or a pug with more of a risk of breathing issues, a pet with a heart condition, or an older dog, the illness may be more worrying. Do seek medical advice, as anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medication may be needed. Mucus may be coughed up which requires veterinary investigation and possibly x-ray.

Treatment required

Vaccination is usually recommended if your pet comes into contact with others dogs on a frequent basis. An annual booster shot is also advised. Many boarding kennels require that you have your dog vaccinated prior to staying with them. The vaccine is normally prescribed as a nasal spray.

Your vet may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory treatment with a cough suppressant to help with the actual cough.

Raw Honey – Has amazing antibacterial properties and can help to ease the nasal discharge if given as one tablespoon twice a day.

Coconut Oil – Pour two teaspoons of the fragrant oil over your dog’s food to help combat kennel cough, with its astonishing antiviral properties.

Cinnamon – Sprinkle half a teaspoon of this spice over his bowl of food to provide antiviral properties, at any time of the year, not only when they have symptoms of kennel cough.

 Kennel cough can be extremely contagious, although after the first 2-3 weeks you should notice the symptoms decreasing, however, the hacking cough may linger for up to 6 weeks. As a responsible dog owner, take care when walking your dog, especially for visits to the park where other dogs may be present, keeping your distance for a few weeks after diagnosis.

 Deep Clean

If you do suspect Kennel Cough in the house then I would recommend that you limit the number of people that come in contact with your dog in terms of feeding and walking etc and isolate as mc as possible

It is also a good idea to deep clean the house with Bleach and disinfectant to stop a cough from spreading



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