Kennel Cough - Symptoms and Treatment Methods

Read what Emily Wilks Saying

Hello, I am Emily Wilks a licensed veterinarian from Ringwood Animal Hospital in New Jersey. Today I would like to talk about canine infectious tracheobronchitis more commonly known as kennel cough. Kennel cough is caused by a number of viruses and bacteria that cause inflammation of the upper airways of the respiratory system. The most common bacteria present is called Bordetella Bronchiseptica. In most cases, kennel cough is a mild self-limiting disease. However, it can progress to fatal pneumonia in puppies older dogs, and dogs with a weakened immune system. The most common clinical sign is a harsh dry cough which may progress to hacking and gagging. If you notice these signs, your veterinarian may recommend chest x-rays to check for evidence of pneumonia.

In severe cases, treatment may include pet vitamins and supplements, such as cough suppressants and antibiotics. Kennel cough is a very contagious disease and dogs at risk for catching it are those that are in close contact with multiple dogs, such as in a boarding facility or doggy daycare. Some of the bacteria and viruses that can cause kennel cough are included in the distemper vaccine which is one of the basic vaccines your dog should receive regularly. However, if your pet frequents one of these places where he or she is in close contact with other dogs, be sure to have him or her also vaccinated against Bordetella Bronchiseptica with the kennel cough vaccine for prevention of this disease.