Kennel Cough in Pets

Kennel cough is a common infectious disease seen in dogs and less frequently in cats

Kennel cough is a common infectious disease seen in dogs and less frequently in cats. Kennel cough complex is most commonly due to a combination of bacteria and viruses, which may include bordatella, mycoplasma, parainfluenza and other viruses. Symptoms may initially include ocular and nasal discharge, as well as sneezing, but usually results in a hacking or choking cough in many affected animals.

Kennel cough is most typically seen in areas of crowding or stress, including boarding kennels, pet shops, grooming parlors and dog parks. Diagnosis of kennel cough is usually made by typical clinical findings in pets with a history of exposure to other animals.  Treatment consists of systemic antibiotics such as Doxycycline or Baytril.  I will often use immune stimulants including echinacea and goldenseal, elderberry, and olive leaf extract. DMG liquid is also another effective immune stimulant that will increase antibody production against bacteria and viruses. There are several types of vaccination available for kennel cough, however in my experience I have not found these vaccines effective. In fact, in some cases I have seen pets more likely to develop symptoms of acute or chronic respiratory distress.

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  1. Kennel cough should be treated by a veterinarian. Isolate dogs to prevent spreading the disease. The quarters should be warm, dry, and well-ventilated. Humidification is beneficial. A cool mist vaporizer offers some advantage over a heat vaporizer, because it is less likely to add excessive heat to the atmosphere. If one is not available, having the dog in the bathroom while you shower can help.

    Vet Cairns

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 17, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing excellent tips on treating kennel cough.

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