Like us, our furry friends can fall under the weather. The canine form of the “common cold” is kennel cough, and many dogs will experience it at some point in their life. Knowing the signs of kennel cough will help you ensure that your dog is safe and comfortable.
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD) or Bordetella, is a contagious affliction of the upper respiratory tract. A dog with kennel cough will have an inflamed trachea and bronchial tubes. In this sense, it is similar to the common cold in humans.
Dogs catch kennel cough when they inhale certain bacteria. The most common of these are Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria, parainfluenza virus, canine adenovirus, and mycoplasma. Combinations of these and/or less common viruses lead to the more serious cases of kennel cough. Dogs are most likely to contract it in shelters or canine boarding facilities when they are in close, enclosed proximity with other dogs. Other factors such as cold weather or travel-induced stress may increase a dog’s susceptibility to kennel cough.
What Are the Symptoms of Kennel Cough?
Look out for a persistent, dry cough. Many pet owners note that the “kennel” cough sounds like a goose honk. In some cases, this severe cough can lead to retching. They may also show signs of illness such as sneezing, a runny nose, discharge from the eyes, lethargy, or loss of appetite.
How Is Kennel Cough Diagnosed?
If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, take them to the vet immediately. The diagnosis is fairly simple; your vet will assess your dog’s symptoms and exposure and use these to make the diagnosis. Potential tests include blood chemistry tests, a complete blood cell count, a urinalysis, fecal exams, and chest X-rays. In more serious cases, your vet may test for pneumonia using a radiograph.
How Can You Treat Kennel Cough?
Uncomplicated cases of kennel cough will go away without medical treatment. Rather, your doctor may prescribe general supportive care like rest and good nutrition. Severe kennel cough, on the other hand, may require antibiotics. This is because kennel cough can become pneumonia, which poses a much more serious threat to your dog.
We at Claws N Paws care about you and your pets. At our location in Orange County, CA, we provide a wide variety of professional bathing and grooming services to both cats and dogs. For more information or to book an appointment, contact us at 714-962-1005 or stop by today!