Kennel Cough is an infectious bronchitis of dogs characterized by a harsh, hacking cough that most people describe as sounding “like something stuck in my dog’s throat.”
Most cases are of brief duration. An uncomplicated kennel cough runs a course of a week or two causing frequent fits of coughing in a pet who otherwise feels active and normal. Some cases can become complicated and develop into pneumonia. Antibiotics and cough suppressants are used to treat this disease complex on an individual basis.
Kennel cough is actually a complex of infections rather than infection by one agent. Numerous organisms may be involved. The more common ones are:
- Bordetella Bronchiseptica
- Parainfluenza virus
- Adenovirus type 2
- Canine Influenza virus
- Canine distemper
- Mycoplasma canis
Vaccination is only available for: bordetella bronchiseptica, canine adenovirus type 2, canine
parainfluenza virus, canine distemper, and canine influenza. The vaccines help reduce the
likelihood and severity of disease. Infections with other members of the kennel cough complex
cannot be prevented.
Dogs travelling, or in contact with other dogs at events, kennels, dog parks, classes or
competitions are more likely to be exposed.