Kennel Cough: The lowdown.

The most common cause of a sudden onset cough in dogs is Kennel Cough. Here are some facts…..


* Kennel Cough is a highly infectious yet treatable disease which, despite the name, can be picked up by dogs almost anywhere, not just in a kennel environment.

* Dogs most at risk of encountering Kennel Cough are those which mix with many other dogs or visit places where many other dogs visit.

* If your dog develops a cough, we advise getting him or her checked out here at the surgery straight away for prompt diagnosis and treatment.

* Kennel Cough is the most common cause of sudden onset coughing, but there are many other causes including heart, lung and airway problems, which would need to be investigated and treated differently.

* Kennel Cough is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, causing inflammation of the windpipe (trachea).

* Kennel Cough is not caused by one infectious agent, but many bacteria and viruses can result in Kennel Cough.

* As the name suggests, infection results in a cough which can often be severe and cause the dog to cough up white froth and phlegm.

* Symptoms can develop very quickly and the cough can sometimes sound as though the dog has something stuck in his or her throat.

* Depending on the infectious bug involved and the immune status of the dog, some dogs will remain very bright but others may become more unwell and off colour.

* Kennel cough is diagnosed through thorough history taking and physical examination by your Vet.

* Treatment is principally aimed at reducing the severity of the cough and other symptoms with anti-inflammatory drugs.

* Antibiotics are not always used since the infection is not always bacterial, and in many cases the infection will clear up on it’s own. Your Vet will judge whether treatment is necessary and which treatments are most appropriate for the individual dog.

* If your dog is receiving treatment but seems to be getting worse, it is important to seek Veterinary advice straight away.

* There is a vaccine available which can help prevent Kennel Cough or reduce the severity of infection.

* The vaccine is administered via droplets into the nose. As with all vaccines, the Kennel Cough vaccine does not provide 100% protection, especially since many infectious bugs can cause the condition.

* Vaccination is advised for high risk dogs, i.e. those which routinely mix with many other dogs and those going into kennels.

* Finally, when making an appointment for your dog at the surgery for a cough, please let our staff know what the symptoms are, since you may be asked to wait with your dog outside the waiting room when you arrive at the surgery. Kennel Cough is so infectious that this can help reduce the chance of the condition spreading to our other patients.

For further information on Kennel Cough, the vaccination, or to make an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact the surgery where our trained staff will be more than happy to help and advise you.