Issue Description Is a highly contagious canine illness
characterized by inflammation of the upper respiratory system. It can
be caused by viral infections such as canine distemper, canine
adenovirus, canine parainfluenza virus, or canine respiratory
coronavirus, or bacterial infections such as Bordetella
bronchiseptica. It is so named because the infection can spread
quickly among dogs, such as in the close quarters of a kennel.
Both viral and bacterial causes of kennel cough are spread through the
air by infected dogs sneezing and coughing. It can also spread through
contact with contaminated surfaces and through direct contact. It is
highly contagious, even days or weeks after symptoms disappear.
Symptoms begin usually 3 to 5 days after exposure. The disease can
progress to pneumonia. Other Names Tracheobronchitis
Symptoms Symptoms can include a harsh, dry
hacking/coughing, retching, sneezing, snorting, gagging or vomiting in
response to light pressing of the trachea or after excitement or
exercise. The presence of a fever varies from case to case. The
disease can last initially from 10-20 days and can rebreak when the
dog is put into a stressful situation which puts stress on the dog's
immune system. Diagnosis is made by seeing these symptoms, having a
history of exposure is also helpful but not always found as kennel
cough is easily spread through contact with contaminated surfaces such
as the ground, toys, sidewalks, dog parks.
Treatment and Prevention Antibiotics are given to treat any bacterial
infection present. Cough suppressants are used if the cough is not
productive (nothing is being coughed up). The prognosis is good.
Prevention is by vaccinating for canine adenovirus, distemper,
parainfluenza, and Bordetella. In kennels, the best prevention is to
keep all the cages disinfected. Most kennels will not board dogs
without proof of vaccination.