Guide to Kennel Cough for Dogs - Common Questions Answered | Pupford
October 6th, 2023
Filed under Health + Wellness
As the leaves turn golden and the air gets crisp, we extend a warm fall greeting to our cherished dog lovers and dedicated dog parents! Your commitment to your furry companions is evident, and as the season changes, we're here to shed light on the often misunderstood topic of kennel cough.
Let's delve deeper into this topic and address some of the most pressing questions and concerns about this condition.
UNDERSTANDING KENNEL COUGH IN DOGS
Kennel cough is a term that encompasses a range of respiratory issues resulting in a consistent cough in dogs. One specific agent does not cause it. Instead, it can be due to a combination of bacterial and viral agents.
Some forms of kennel cough can even be non-infectious, arising from environmental irritants or other health issues. When people mention kennel cough, they often refer to —a contagious bacteria causing respiratory problems and cold-like symptoms in dogs.
THE TRANSMISSION OF KENNEL COUGH
Just as children are prone to catching colds in school, dogs are susceptible to kennel cough in communal settings.
Dogs contract kennel cough primarily through the air or from contaminated surfaces.
Places with many dogs, like dog parks, boarding facilities, or grooming centers, are high-risk zones.
Factors like colder air temperatures, poor ventilation, and can make dogs more susceptible. Stress from being in crowded spaces or confined areas can weaken their immune defenses, making them more prone to infection.
DIVING INTO THE CAUSES AND RECOGNIZING KENNEL COUGH SYMPTOMS
If your dog exhibits a dry, persistent cough, often accompanied by gagging or a honking sound, it's a telltale sign.
Additionally, symptoms might extend to sneezing, watery eyes, or nasal discharge. Interestingly, many dogs remain spirited even with these symptoms and maintain their usual appetite.
THE CONTAGIOUS NATURE OF KENNEL COUGH
Kennel cough is indeed contagious among our canine friends. If your dog has kennel cough, isolating them from other pets is essential to prevent the spread. The contagious phase can linger for weeks, sometimes even after the visible symptoms have faded.
KENNEL COUGH FAQs
WHAT DOES KENNEL COUGH SOUND LIKE?
Kennel cough has a distinctive sound that can be pretty unsettling for dog parents.
Imagine a persistent, forceful cough that might remind you of a honking goose. This isn't your typical doggy cough. Some people liken it to a reverse sneeze, a sound that seems as if the dog is inhaling .
Others feel it's as if the dog is trying to clear something stuck in its throat. It's crucial to differentiate this from the harmless cough-like sound some smaller breeds make, which is genuinely a reverse sneeze and not a cause for concern. Go to your vet immediately, if you're concerned.
WHAT IS THE DURATION OF KENNEL COUGH?
The duration of kennel cough can vary. After exposure, symptoms typically manifest within two to 14 days.
While many dogs show signs of recovery within a few weeks, some might take longer, especially if they're older or have underlying health conditions.
Regular monitoring is vital, and any deterioration in health warrants a visit to the vet.
DO ALL SHELTER DOGS COME HOME WITH KENNEL COUGH?
Due to their nature, shelters can be hotspots for various infections, but it's a misconception that every dog from a shelter will have a kennel cough.
If you're considering adopting, always inquire about the dog's health status and any recent kennel cough outbreaks.
Once you bring your new family member home, it's a good practice to keep them separated from other pets for a short period, ensuring everyone stays healthy.
CAN HUMANS CONTRACT KENNEL COUGH FROM DOGS?
For all the human companions out there, breathe a sigh of relief! In most cases, kennel cough isn't typically transmissible to humans.
WILL KENNEL COUGH GO AWAY ON ITS OWN?
Nature has a way of healing; in many kennel cough cases, a dog's body will naturally fight off the condition.
Most dogs bounce back within 1 to 3 weeks.
However, older dogs or those with existing health issues might require a bit more time, up to 6 weeks, to fully recover.
While natural recovery is common, it's essential to be vigilant. If your dog's symptoms don't show signs of improvement or if they seem to be struggling more, it's time to consult your vet.
SHOULD YOU TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE VET?
Your dog's well-being is paramount. Observing any change in your dog's behavior or health is essential.
If your dog's cough persists or worsens, it's time to seek professional advice. While many kennel cough cases are mild, complications can arise, especially in more vulnerable dogs.
These symptoms indicate that a vet visit is not just recommended but necessary. A vet's expertise will involve a thorough examination, understanding your dog's history, and possibly prescribing medications to provide relief or treat underlying bacterial causes.
HOW DO YOU PREVENT KENNEL COUGH?
- Vaccination: Prevention is always better than cure. While no vaccine offers 100% protection against kennel cough, available can significantly reduce the risk. These come in various forms, including injectable, nasal, and oral. Regular vet check-ups will ensure your dog's vaccinations are current.
- Environment: A dog's surroundings play a pivotal role in its health. Spaces free from dust, with good airflow, can reduce the risk of kennel cough. Factors like cold temperatures, exposure to smoke, or travel can stress your dog, making them more susceptible.
- Hygiene: Think of kennel cough bacteria as invisible invaders. Regularly disinfecting common items like toys, water bowls, and even your hands can prevent these invaders from causing harm.
In wrapping up, kennel cough, while concerning, is a manageable condition. With the right knowledge, care, and a dash of love, your doggo will return to its playful self in no time. Always prioritize your dog's health, maintain regular vet visits, and ensure they live in a .
Here's to many more happy, healthy days with your furry friend!