Kennel cough is a fairly common problem among dogs, and it can be an uncomfortable illness for any dog that experiences it. Kennel cough is often spread in areas with large concentrations of dogs, such as dog parks, dog shows, dog kennels, and doggy daycare centers. It spreads through direct contact, contaminated surfaces such as food and water bowls, and it can also become airborne. This makes it difficult to avoid, but it’s always a good idea to get your dog vaccinated if you frequent places where many dogs congregate.
The most obvious symptom of kennel cough is a cough that produces a ‘honking’ sound. In addition to this telling symptom, a dog with kennel cough may also sneeze, have a runny nose, experience lethargy and loss of appetite, or even have a low-grade fever. Any dog with these symptoms should be taken to see their veterinarian right away to seek a diagnosis and treatment. Aside from the fact that the dog is ill, any other dogs in your home or that your dog is regularly exposed to are now at risk.
Thankfully, in most cases, the treatment for kennel cough is often simple and straightforward. Some dogs may be sent home and put on activity restrictions without needing any medication if the symptoms are mild enough. In more moderate to severe cases, the dog may be put on antibiotics to prevent a secondary infection from taking hold and a cough suppressant to help ease the discomfort of the pup. It is important to remember that if you walk your dog while they have kennel cough, make sure to use a harness so you don’t put any strain or pressure on their throat. Care should be taken to decrease the risk of transmission to other dogs. Your dog should not be walked for elimination, where they may come into contact with other dogs. Be sure to discuss risk, responsible management, and length of isolation.
One of the main concerns that all owners should be aware of is that a dog can still contract kennel cough, even if they have been vaccinated. While the bordetella vaccine does protect dogs from any kennel cough that is caused by the bordetella bacterium, the problem is that not all forms of kennel cough are caused by this bacterium. If your pup is exposed to another form of kennel cough, they could still become sick. That said, bordetella is still the most common form of kennel cough, and it should be vaccinated against it to help protect your pup from potential infection.
These concerns are especially important for anyone with dogs that are very young, very old, or immunocompromised, as they are likely to experience more severe symptoms and need more aggressive treatment than healthy dogs.
Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health
Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.