“KENNEL COUGH” is a layman’s term for a respiratory infection (tracheobronchitis/ ITB). It is very contagious, so dogs that are kennelled or at daycare may be more likely to get it.
SYMPTOMS: dry hacking cough often followed by a retch/gag (sometimes yielding clear mucus). More severe cases may have fever, poor appetite, lethargy and laboured breathing.
RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS CAN BE SERIOUS. It is important to see your vet before it gets bad. Some cases are so severe that they need to go on the ventilator.
JUST LIKE IN PEOPLE Many respiratory infections are mild and resolve on their own. Others need antibiotics. Some become serious- pneumonia or worse. LABOURED BREATHING must always be treated as an EMERGENCY. DO NOT WAIT!
“KENNEL COUGH” usually refers to a specific bacterial infection called Bordetella Bronchiseptica. THERE ARE MANY OTHER CAUSES OF RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS – viruses (like Influenza and Distemper), bacteria (like mycoplasma) and many more.
OTHER CAUSES OF COUGHING CAN LOOK SIMILAR: problems like choking, collapsing trachea, heart problems and pneumonia. Some of these can be fatal if untreated.
YOUR VET MAY NEED TO RUN TESTS like chest x-rays, a swab for infectious disease testing, a heartworm test, an airway exam, fecal parasite testing, blood work, etc.
VACCINES CAN PREVENT some respiratory infections such as Bordetella, Distemper and even Influenza.
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