Kennel Cough

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Altona Veterinary Clinic
97 Pier Street
Vic 3018

03 9398 3333
03 9315 9504
Noah Williamstown

Kennel cough is an infectious tracheo bronchitis usually characterized by a cough in our canine companions. It is comparable in some respects to the human chest cold or in severe cases the whooping cough.

The two main causes of kennel cough are included in the C5 vaccination that your dog should receive annually. Like human colds, there are many strains that may infect your pet and unfortunately it is not possible to vaccinate against each of these. This means that if your dog is up to date with their C5 vaccination they are less likely to get kennel cough. However, they can still technically get it.

Kennel cough is contagious and is shed from an infected dog through respiratory secretions. These secretions are then picked up in the air by healthy dogs. Your dog may not show any signs of coughing for up to 14 days after contracting the infection.

Usually we find that dogs get infected with Kennel Cough when they have been kept in a crowded environment with other dogs. Places such as boarding kennels, dog training facilities, dog park/beach and animal shelters are common areas that your dog may get kennel cough.

Owners of an infected dog will notice their pet develops a harsh hacking cough. This can often be described as sounding like something is “stuck in the dog’s throat’’. There are numerous respiratory noises that your dog can make, and numerous causes of coughing in dogs. If your dog is coughing or making abnormal respiratory noise, you should make an appointment with your Veterinarian.

Kennel cough can resolve on its own; however, medication can help speed up the recovery process and keep your pet comfortable in the meantime.  Antibiotics may be required to help kill the infection and cough medication can be prescribed to suppress the cough.  You should start to see improvement in your pets health within 14 days. However, your dog will still shed the infection and be contagious for up to two weeks after the coughing stops. It is important not to socialize your pet with other dogs during this time to avoid other dogs catching kennel cough.

If your pet does not improve, the veterinarian may suggest another examination and further testing to ensure there are no other contributing conditions. It is important to always follow your veterinarian’s advice and recommendations and return for any scheduled re-checks.  Please contact the clinic if you have any concerns.


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