Kennel Cough

If your dog is hacking away or constantly making noises that make it sound like he’s choking on something, he may have a case of kennel cough, or canine infectious tracheobronchitis.
What is Kennel Cough?
Just as human colds may be caused by many different viruses, kennel cough itself can have multiple causes. One of the most common culprits is a bacterium called Bordetella bronchiseptica m– which is why kennel cough is often called Bordetella. Most dogs that become infected with Bordetella are infected with a virus at the same time. These viruses, which are known to make dogs more susceptible to contracting Bordetella infection, include canine adenovirus, canine distemper virus, canine herpes virus, parainfluenza virus and canine reovirus.
Dogs “catch” kennelcough when they inhale bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract. This tract is normally lined with a coating of mucus that traps infectious particles, but there are a number of factors that can weaken this protection and make dogs prone to kennel cough infection, which results in inflammation of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe).
These factors include:

  • Exposure to crowded and/or poorly ventilated conditions, such as are found in many kennels and shelters
  • Cold temperatures
  • Exposure to dust or cigarette smoke
  • Travel-induced stress

Symptoms of Kennel Cough
The classic symptom of kennel cough is a persistent, forceful cough. It often sounds like a goose honk. This is distinct from a cough-like sound made by some dogs, especially little ones, which is called a reverse sneeze. Reverse sneezes can be normal in certain dogs and breeds, and usually only indicates the presence of post-nasal drip or a slight irritation of the throat.  
Some dogs with kennel cough may show other symptoms of illness, including sneezing, a runny nose, or eye discharge.
If your dog has kennel cough, he probably will not lose his appetite or have a decreased energy level.
Treating and Preventing Kennel Cough
Kennel cough is contagious. If you think your dog might have the condition, you should keep him away from other animals and contact your veterinarian.
Although some cases of kennel cough will resolve without treatment, medications may speed recovery or minimize symptoms during the course of infection. These include antibiotics that target Bordetella bacteria and cough medicines.
You may also find that keeping your dog in a well-humidified area and using a harness instead of a collar, especially for dogs that strain against a leash, will minimize the coughing.
Most dogs with kennel cough recover completely within three weeks, though it can take up to six weeks in older dogs or those with other medical conditions. Because serious, ongoing kennel cough infection can lead to pneumonia, be sure to follow up with your veterinarian if your dog doesn’t improve within the expected amount of time. Also, if your dog at any time has symptoms of rapid breathing, not eating, or listlessness, contact your vet right away, as these could be signs of more serious conditions.

Vaccination
Kennel cough vaccine is delivered as a nasal mist
The intranasal and oral kennel cough vaccinations are typically given to dogs once a year, but sometimes are recommended every six months for dogs at high risk for kennel cough

-​Dr Des Groome's motto .

“My name is Des Groome, owner-founder of Groome Vets Ltd. I grew up on a stud farm in Carbury, co. Kildare surrounded by Mares, Foals, Cows, Dogs, Cats, Foxes and all God’s creatures. I think I was born to be a Vet and have worked with animals my entire life as farm hand, stable lad, dog trainer, jockey, Vet. After an early veterinary career globe trotting and working with every species from racehorses to tigers, camels and parrots I established Kildare Vet Surgery in 1999 and built an accredited pet hospital here in 2005. My guiding ethos as a Vet is to help animals live their best natural lives. There are 3 ways we do that which make us different from other practices- We focus on your animals lifestyle helping you understand your pet and their natural needs. We focus on preventative healthcare for your pet. And when your pet does become ill or elderly we focus on quality of Life issues before we do the usual array of scans and tests. Our health plans are a life plan to keep your pet healthy. We are now developing daycare facilities, boarding kennels,a dog park, dog training service, pet fitness centre and our Groome Vet range of premium food. All these innovations are moving me closer to my life time aim of helping animals live their best natural lives. I recruit like minded people who’ve also grown up with animals and are here to support pet owners. “