What treatment is used for kennel cough? What causes it?

April 13, 2012

Have you heard about kennel cough? If persistent coughing makes you lose sleep at night, pretty much the same thing would be felt by the dog. Dogs cough too. This respiratory disease is officially known as Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis. Kennel cough is highly contagious. The good news is that this disease is rarely serious. A pet that has developed this condition will be very uncomfortable and may lose sleep like humans because of the insistent coughing. However, the dog will be its usual active self. The dog may not even need veterinary attention. With a lot of tender loving care and some natural remedies, the pet can be treated at home.

Some pet owners believe that the pet can be infected if boarded in a kennel. Thus pet owner that are going on vacation would hesitate to board the pet because of this concern. This upper respiratory disease is commonly known as kennel cough because the risk of getting this disease in kennels is high. However, this disease that is very similar to a mild case of influenza is caused by a variety of disease agents. These viruses and bacteria are airborne thus the dog does not necessarily need to be boarded to get the disease. Not boarding the dog in kennels is not an assurance that the disease can be prevented. Kennel cough is nothing but common cough in canines. This disease can be asymptomatic. Affected dogs would not show any other symptoms aside from mild coughing. Sneezing, yellowish watery nasal discharge and persistent dry hacking cough will be manifested by some dogs. The low toned cough that sounds like a horn commonly induces dry retching. Similar to humans, the coughing would seem worse at night or when the dog is lying down. Dry cough is common although in some instances, the dog will produce phlegm. As mentioned, kennel cough is normally not a serious disease thus it can be managed at home. A teaspoon of honey with a few drops of lemon juice given three times a day would soothe the dog’s throat. Vitamin C would strengthen the dog’s immune system. But when the dog is already running a temperature, when the dog is already lethargic and has repeatedly refused to eat, when a bout of hacking cough causes the dog to throw up white foamy discharge, it is highly probable that the condition of the pet has worsened. The pet has to be taken to a veterinary facility at once for necessary treatments. Cough suppressants and antibiotics are commonly administered.

Bordetella Bronchoseptica is the most common cause of kennel cough. Once the dog is exposed to these airborne bacteria or gets in contact with an infected dog, the bacteria that have found its way inside the dog’s body will reproduce in significant numbers. Six to ten days after the exposure to the bacteria, the dog will manifest the symptoms of the disease. Canine parainfluenza 3 and canine adenovirus 2 are other causes of kennel cough. These viruses are the usual causes of common colds. When the virus gets deeply into the dog’s lungs the epithelial cells of the respiratory tract will be infected. Infectuous tracheobronchitis will occur when the dog’s trachea is damaged. Although kennel cough will make the dog’s life uncomfortable, this disease would usually be gone after a week or two. Bordetella Bronchiseptica, canine parainfluenza -3 and canine adenovirus 2 that mixes together will result to a health concern more serious than kennel cough. The dog will certainly need veterinary attention as home cures may not be sufficient to treat the dog. Kennel cough can be a symptom of an underlying disease. A heart disease, heartworm infestation and throat growths are only some of the conditions that can make the dog cough incessantly.

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