Kennel Cough Risks and Management for Dogs of All Ages

Definition of Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection in dogs caused by various bacteria and viruses. It is similar to the common cold in humans and is characterized by a dry, hacking cough. Commonly referred to as Bordetella or Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), it is one of the most commonly seen infections among canines.

Kennel Cough in NZ can be contracted from contact with other infected dogs, contaminated surfaces, and airborne particles like dust or pollen. It spreads quickly among groups of dogs that are housed together, hence its name; however, it can also be contracted through casual contact with an infected animal. The infection starts with inflammation of the larynx and trachea which causes irritation resulting in a persistent dry cough that may produce gagging and retching when severe enough. In some cases difficulty breathing may occur due to swelling of the airways leading to labored breathing or panting even at rest. In addition to coughing symptoms such as sneezing, nasal discharge, eye discharge or conjunctivitis may also accompany Kennel Cough infections depending on the cause agent involved.

Causes of Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection in dogs. It is caused by a number of different pathogens, including viruses and bacteria. While it can be mild and resolve on its own with no treatment, it can become severe if not treated promptly and correctly.

The most common cause of Kennel Cough is the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria. This bacterium lives in the throat and airways of dogs and can be spread through close contact with an infected dog or through contact with contaminated surfaces like water dishes or toys. It is especially common in areas where many dogs are housed together such as kennels or shelters where the chances for transmission are high. Vaccination against Bordetella bronchiseptica helps reduce the risk of infection but does not guarantee immunity since other viruses may still be present that could cause Kennel Cough even if your dog has been vaccinated against Bordetella bronchiseptica. 

Other causes of Kennel Cough include Canine Parainfluenza virus (CPIV), Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2) and canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV).

Symptoms of Kennel Cough

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectioustronchitis, is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection in dogs that can cause inflammation and irritation of the trachea and bronchi. It is usually spread through contact with other dogs or contaminated surfaces, such as those found in kennels or shelters. Fortunately, there are several treatments available for kennel cough if it is caught early enough.

Symptoms of Kennel Cough: 

The most common symptom of kennel cough is a harsh hacking or dry coughing sound that may be accompanied by gagging or retching. Other symptoms may include nasal discharge, sneezing, loss of appetite and lethargy. In severe cases, the dog may experience difficulty breathing due to inflammation and mucus build-up in their airways. If you suspect your pet has contracted kennel cough it’s important to seek veterinary attention right away as the infection can quickly progress into something more serious if left untreated. 

Diagnosis & Treatment: 

In order to diagnose kennel cough your veterinarian will examine your dog’s throat and chest area for signs of inflammation or distress while listening to their lungs with a stethoscope. 

Treatment and Prevention of Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection in dogs that can cause severe discomfort and health problems. It is caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria, most commonly the canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) and Bordetella bronchiseptica. While it can affect all dogs, puppies, senior dogs and those with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible. Kennel cough is generally spread through direct contact with an infected dog or contaminated surfaces such as bedding or food bowls.

Fortunately, kennel cough is both preventable and treatable. Prevention involves vaccinating your pet against CAV-2 as well as Bordetella bronchiseptica if they will be in an area where other dogs are present (such as a boarding kennel). Vaccines should be given at least two weeks before any exposure to other animals to allow time for immunity to develop. In addition to vaccination, good hygiene measures such as regular cleaning of the environment can help reduce the risk of spreading kennel cough between animals. 

If your pet does contract kennel cough, treatment typically involves supportive care such as rest, hydration and nutritional support while allowing their own immune system to fight off the infection naturally.

Complications Associated with Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs. It is caused by a combination of airborne bacteria, viruses and other germs. While it is common in young puppies, older dogs can also contract the infection. Kennel cough can be mild and cause no long-term health complications but in severe cases, it can lead to more serious issues such as pneumonia or even death.

One of the most common symptoms of kennel cough is persistent coughing with a honking sound as air passes through an inflamed windpipe. This type of coughing often progresses to gagging and retching which can be very distressing for your pet. Other symptoms may include sneezing, runny nose, loss of appetite and lethargy. In some cases, kennel cough may also cause fever or even trouble breathing if the infection has progressed to pneumonia or bronchitis. 

If left untreated, kennel cough can lead to several dangerous complications including bronchopneumonia (an accumulation of fluid in the lungs), bacterial infections such as streptococcus or staphylococcus species, tracheobronchitis (inflammation of the trachea and bronchi) or even laryngeal paralysis.

Who is Most at Risk for Developing Kennel Cough?

When it comes to canine illnesses, kennel cough is one of the most common and contagious. It is caused by an airborne virus and bacteria, and can easily be spread from dog to dog. So who is most at risk for developing kennel cough? 

The primary group of dogs that are at risk for developing kennel cough are those that spend time in close contact with other dogs, such as in a kennel or doggie daycare. Dogs that frequent these places tend to have weaker immune systems due to the high number of germs they’re exposed to on a daily basis. Puppies less than six months old also have weaker immune systems which makes them more susceptible to contracting this illness. 

Some breeds such as Poodles and Greyhounds may also be more prone due to their short snouts or “flat faces” which can make breathing more difficult during times when a virus like this is present in the air. Older dogs may be at higher risk due their weakened immune system as well as any underlying health conditions they might have which can make them more vulnerable. 

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