Canine Kennel Cough – Causes- Prevention-Treatment

As summer comes upon us we have been inundated with reports of dogs coming down with kennel cough. I was about to pen a piece reflecting information derived from my research when I found an expert’s opinion that I thought I would share

Here is the short article excerpted…keep it handy just in case…

“Kennel cough has been going around again..

Many questions are around the vaccine- read more to see just how effective (or un-effective) it is.

Ultimately you want your dog to have a healthy primed immune system to decrease the chance of getting the disease, and lower the likelehood of it turning into pneumonia…….

What is kennel cough?
In veterinary terms it is infectious tracheobronchitis;  inflammationand infection of the main airway (trachea), aquireand into the passage to the lungs (bronchi)
Causes
The bacteria:
Bordetella bronchiseptica

and some viruses:

Parainfluenza virus
Canine adenovirus type 2
Canine distemper virus
Canine herpes virus
Canine reovirus (type 1, 2, or 3)

Signs
A pronounced ‘goose honking’ cough- it is generally loud and
unmistakable for kennel cough

In a small percent of dogs it can lead to pneumonia ( lung
infection)- these dogs become markedly sick, generally with a
fever, eating/drinking less, lethargic, and in some cases
breathing more difficulty. Dogs with pneumonia require
antibiotics.

How does your dog get Kennel cough ?
Generally, via direct contact with another dog that has the
disease-much in the same way we would get a cold virus or the
flu

Clearly if there are more dogs, in a small space, then the
chance  of getting it goes up..ie in a day care, kennel etc..

Prevention
There is a kennel cough vaccine, BUT it does NOT give immunity
to MOST of the kennel cough viruses.

Secondarily, as kennel cough is generally a LOCAL infection
ie in the respiratory tract), it is not a disease which in
easily prevented with vaccination.

Most vaccines WON’T completely prevent it, but they may decrease
the severity.

Incubation
The disease can take anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure from
another coughing dog until your dog shows sigs of infection.

Length of infection
Most dogs with kennel cough have signs for 7 days- it can be
longer, and not uncommon to take 14 days to fully recover and not
longer be coughing.

What do I do if my dog gets kennel cough?
In most cases it is self-limiting- the disease must simply run
its course.

So long as your dog is still active, eating and drinking, then they
will likely be fine.

If they have signs of pneumonia ( ie fever, lethargy, increased
breathing rate) have them examined by your veterinarian

At home cough remedy
Here is what I have found works especially well:

NATURAL COUGH SYRUP. Lemon and honey can soothe any sore throat.
New research points toward using ‘natural dark honey’ being more
effective than any OTC cough suppressant.

Mix 2 tbsp of honey, 1mtsp of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water.
Give it to your dog twice daily, 1 tbsp for an average sized
(50 lb) dog…

Homeopathic cough syrups may also be helpful. I have used Hyland’s
Cough Syrup, dosing it at 1/4 of regular adult dose per 10 lbs of
body weight.

P.S. Do I vaccinate for kennel cough?
No

It is ONLY partially protective..sometimes..

P.P.S. Here are some things that can support your dog’s immune
system to decrease the chance of serious infection.

Essential Fatty Acids
Probiotics
Colostrum
Anti-viral amino acids, such as lysine ”
END Dr Andrew Jones DVM

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