The name kennel cough refers to a condition that causes your pet to have a dry and irritating cough. The major symptom of the disease is coughing, although your pet may also show signs of other respiratory tract infections, such as sneezing, runny nose, and fever.
Kennel cough is not just one specific disease and can happen due to viral or bacterial infections. Rare occurrences can get triggered by allergies or environmental irritants.
Kennel cough gets traditionally associated with crowded conditions like dog shelters or boarding facilities (hence the catchy name). Any pet, at any moment, can get affected! With this in mind, let us look at what exactly causes kennel cough and how you can treat or prevent it.
Diagnosing Kennel Cough
No matter how you treat kennel cough, it is important to get your pet diagnosed by a veterinarian before doing anything else. When you take your pet to the veterinarian for diagnosis, they will perform a physical exam and check your pet’s history.
Which medications has he been taking so far? Has he been exposed to any sickness? What vaccinations does he have? The vet can also need to conduct lung sounds and blood work or x-rays. In some cases, other tests can get recommended too.
Once the signs and symptoms of Kennel Cough come to your knowledge, a trip to your veterinarian is in order. Kennel Cough can happen by numerous pathogens, and there is not one single diagnostic test for the disease.
Other causes of the symptoms must get ruled out by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will then do a physical examination and review your pet’s medical history. The exam and medical history allow your veterinarian to evaluate any other conditions that may have been present before the onset of kennel cough symptoms.
If your vet suspects kennel cough, they may advise a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics to help fight off secondary infections associated with kennel cough. If your dog has an underlying health condition such as heartworm, it may require additional treatment. In severe cases, hospitalization and supportive care such as oxygen therapy may be advisable. Your veterinarian should also discuss ways to prevent kennel cough in the future.
Veterinarians use physical exams, medical history, and observation to diagnose kennel cough.
Treating Kennel Cough
Kennel cough (also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis or kennel cough) is a highly contagious disease in dogs that can get transmitted through airborne particles, direct contact, or coughing. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge.
Kennel cough happens by a virus and most commonly affects dogs aging six months and older. Dogs with kennel cough may be contagious to others for up to three weeks after symptoms start.
The best way to prevent dog-to-dog transmission of this condition is by subscribing to expert ideas like on PetCareRx. Also, you can vaccinate your dog against kennel cough. It is also important that you address your pet’s underlying health issues if you have one. If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, several medications will help manage the symptoms and alleviate some of its discomforts.
For example, antibiotics getting administered when necessary to treat
- Pneumonia in dogs who are suffering from kennel cough
- Anti-inflammatory medications can help control pain associated with the infection
- Vitamin C supplements can improve immunity against the virus
- Probiotics can boost your pet’s intestinal flora so you can fight off infections more effectively
- Herbal remedies such as licorice root reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract
- Colloidal silver kills bacteria within the respiratory tract and helps keep mucus free of infectious agents
Preventing Kennel Cough
Vaccination – Kennel Cough is highly contagious. If you are not sure whether or not your dog or cat has it, always seek professional advice.
Cleanliness – Maintaining clean surroundings, both inside and out, will help to prevent your pet from getting kennel cough.
Healthy food – Good nutrition can help keep your pet strong and healthy and less susceptible to infection.
Proper care – Ensure that the space in which your animal lives is cleaned out sufficiently regularly, like once a month, and that bedding gets changed daily for at least nine days after exposure to kennel cough.
Avoiding cold weather – Do not let your animal roam outside as it can get exposed to bacteria that cause Kennel Cough.
Identifying Underlying Cause
The underlying cause of kennel cough will be treated as part of your pet’s treatment plan and usually determined by a veterinarian. In most cases, kennel cough can get treated with antibiotics to clear up an infection. If you think your pet has kennel cough, it is vital to see a vet for testing and treatment as soon as possible.
Once your dog or cat gets diagnosed with the condition, they should remain in a clean and ventilated space. It can be the crate to prevent the further spread of the virus.
You may also consider giving them lighter meals while recovering from this condition. When caring for any sick animal, it is crucial to make sure they stay hydrated by providing plenty of water.
Most of the time, kennel cough is due to infection caused by bacteria or a virus. The most common causes are:
- Bordetella Bronchiseptica
- Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPIV)
- Canine Adenovirus (CAV2)
Sometimes, kennel cough can happen by a combination of these different culprits. The most common cases are ones where the bacterial Bordetella bronchiseptica combines with one of the viruses CPIV or CAV2. Other less common underlying causes may include other bacteria species or another type of virus causing an infection in your dog’s upper respiratory tract.
Kennel cough is a respiratory condition that affects dogs. It is highly contagious and can spread quickly through places where dogs congregate, such as boarding kennels, dog parks, or even the vet office. Kennel cough is not usually dangerous and can get prevented by vaccinating your pet.
If you suspect your dog has this infection, do not worry, it is treatable by antibiotics. But if the cough persists for more than two weeks, you should consult a vet.
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