What is kennel cough?
Kennel cough is one form of infectious bronchitis. It is highly contagious. Tracheobronchitis, canine infectious tracheobronchitis, Bordetella, and Bordetellosis are other names for kennel cough.
Kennel cough has gotten the name of kennel cough because in close quarters such as being confined within a kennel with other dogs, this infection can easily spread to other dogs.
Being confined with other dogs with kennel cough is not the only way a dog can contract this respiratory infection. Kennel cough can also be contracted through casual contact with an infected dog or contact with contaminated toys or ground.
The dog infected with kennel cough is likely to develop a dry cough that is described as hacking. Kennel cough can cause snorting, gagging, and vomiting. Kennel cough can also cause a fever.
A veterinarian is likely to question the dog owner about any history of being in a kennel or around dogs with respiratory symptoms when diagnosing kennel cough. Some diagnostic tests, like blood tests or a bacteria culture, may be used to confirm the diagnosis of kennel cough.
The condition often goes away on its own. Kennel cough typically lasts ten to twenty days. In some cases the kennel cough may be prolonged or be recurrent. Severe cases of kennel cough can lead to pneumonia.
Antibiotics may be used to treat kennel cough. Dogs who received the vaccines for kennel cough are protected from contracting the respiratory infection. Any items that have been used by a dog with kennel cough should be disinfected to reduce the risk of infecting other dogs.
A dog owner should avoid boarding a dog in a kennel if the dog has not been vaccinated for kennel cough. Most kennels require that any dogs boarded have been vaccinated. Dog owners may be required to show proof of the vaccination.
There is some debate if kennel cough poses any risk to humans. In the past, human risk was dismissed as not possible, but some evidence suggests that young children and people with compromised immune systems could contract tracheobronchitis.