Kennel Cough Treatment – Coughing and sneezing are conditions that are not just limited to us human beings. Dogs are equally susceptible to developing a cough. If you find that your pet dog is constantly making choking noises, it in all probabilities means that it has developed kennel cough.
Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection common in canines. In medical terms, this infection is known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis. The transmission to catching the kennel cough is not similar to humans. Unlike humans, a dog’s respiratory tract has a lining of mucus that prevents it from infection.
However, there are other factors at play here that cause kennel cough. These include exposure to dust, cold temperatures, and living in poorly ventilated kennels or shelters, to name a few. The most common ways in which the kennel cough spread include
- Through airborne droplets
- Direct contact with another dog ( for e.g.- by touching the nose)
- Contaminated objects like food bowls or water bowls
Veterinarians employ the kennel cough treatment to treat the kennel cough infection developed by a dog. You can administer the kennel cough treatment at your home, too, after consulting your vet.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough
The kennel cough causes inflammation in the larynx and trachea. The symptoms of the infection are usually mild, and if caught at the right time, can be easily treated too. Some of the most common symptoms of kennel cough include the following:
- Persistent, forceful cough
- Sneezing and running nose
- Low fever
- Discharge from the eye
- Loss of appetite
Once your dog starts to show any of these symptoms, it is time for you to administer a kennel cough treatment to prevent the infection from spreading or increasing.
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How to Treat Kennel Cough? Kennel Cough Treatment
A kennel cough, when detected immediately, can easily be contained by starting a kennel cough treatment. However, if not treated at the right time, kennel cough can turn into deadly pneumonia. This can cause a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering for your dog.
To start a kennel cough treatment, one must first recognize that the cough is serious and needs medical attention. Here is a list of steps for you to begin a kennel cough treatment:
#1 The first step as a pet owner for you to do is observe the coughing sound your dog has been making and the frequency of the sound. It could be a harmless cough too. Once the cough starts to sound like a ratcheting or a gagging sound, it is time for you to suspect a kennel cough infection.
#2 Isolating your dog is a step you need to take immediately. This is essential, especially if your dog is living in a shelter with many other dogs. Kennel cough is highly infectious and can spread to other dogs very easily. Avoid taking your dog out for a walk, too, for some time. Exposure to an external environment of any kind should immediately be stopped to contain the spreading of the infection.
#3 If the cough does not subside even after you have isolated your dog from all external sources, it is time for you to visit your trusted vet. The vet shall conduct a thorough physical examination of your dog and come to an appropriate diagnosis.
#4 An absence of heart murmur is a prime indication of kennel cough. Vets usually prescribe a course of antibiotics for a kennel cough treatment when detected at an early stage.
#5 Usually, an antibiotic course is enough to treat kennel cough. However, if the cough persists, vets usually prescribe a full blood work and other appropriate tests for further investigation.
Things you can do at home for kennel cough treatment
You, as a dog owner, can do a lot of things to help your sick dog. It is, however, always advisable to consult your trusted vet before adopting any of these practices. A few things that you can practice for kennel cough treatment include:
#1 Give your dog steam
Just like for us humans, sitting in a steamy atmosphere for 5 minutes or so can help your dog too. Inhaling steam helps in loosening the mucus that has collected in your dog’s chest. You can turn on the hot water in your bathroom cubicle for some time before making your dog sit inside. It is advisable to be extremely careful about the water’s temperature. You do not want your dog to get burnt as a result of scalding water.
#2 Make your dog drink a concoction of lemon juice and honey in warm water
This homemade remedy is extremely beneficial in soothing your dog’s irritated throat. Avoid giving this concoction to your dog if it is diabetic-it can prove to be extremely harmful for its condition in this case!
#3 Avoid Smoking
If you have a habit of smoking, avoid smoking around your dog when they have the kennel cough infection. Exposure to smoke of any kind shall only aggravate your dog’s condition further.
#4 Plenty of Rest
Make sure your dog is resting enough. Getting plenty of sleep and rest is important for your dog’s speedy recovery. Keep your dog in a room that is far away from any disturbance for it to recover faster and rest better.
Keep your dog well hydrated. A sick dog would not want to drink enough water, and naturally, so too! In such a case, make sure that you are feeding your pet enough fluids in whichever way possible. You could give them their favorite chicken soup, too, to keep them well hydrated!
Can the Kennel Cough be Deadly to your Dog?
The kennel cough infection is a common occurrence in most dogs due to interaction with other dogs. It is mostly harmless, and the infection subsides in some time. However, for some dogs, kennel cough can prove to be fatal. If you have any of these following dogs at home, taking extra care of them is extremely important:
- Young puppies who have not been fully vaccinated yet. These puppies have a low immune system already. A kennel cough infection at such a young age can prove to be harmful to them.
- Old and diseased dogs. Dogs suffering from conditions like heart problems, diabetes, or cancer have a low immune system.
- Dogs with already existing respiratory disorders.
- Pregnant dogs
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Is there any vaccination available for kennel cough?
The best kennel cough treatment is through the kennel cough vaccine. The bordetella vaccine is injected into both puppies and adult dogs to prevent them from catching the kennel cough infection. The vaccine can be given in 3 ways to a dog- through an injection, through a nasal mist, and one through the mouth.
Q2. How often do you need to give your dog the kennel cough vaccine?
Unlike other infections and diseases, you have to administer a vaccine for kennel cough once every 6-12 months. The shot acts as a booster to help strengthen your dog’s overall immunity. Given the fact that dogs are in constant contact with other dogs at the kennels in the shelter, they are prone to kennel cough very easily. To prevent this from happening, vets prescribe that dogs receive an intranasal and oral vaccine every six months as a part of the kennel cough treatment and prevention.
Q3. How long does a kennel cough usually last?
A dog usually recovers from a kennel cough within three weeks. However, it may take your dog six weeks to recover from the infection if they are aging and have other medical issues too. However, most dogs are not contagious after 10-14 days of being ill. This means that chances of transmission and infection after two weeks.
Q4. Is it important to start a kennel cough treatment immediately?
Most dogs manage to recover from the kennel cough without any kennel cough treatment within a week or two. Young dogs have a strong immune system and usually do not require any medical kennel cough treatment to recover. However, if your dog has a previous medical condition and is aged, providing proper medical treatment for them is the best way to go about things.
Q5. Can humans get a kennel cough infection from a dog?
In most of the studies conducted, it is proven that kennel cough is highly contagious among dogs and many other animals, including rabbits, cats, horses, to name a few. However, there are a few cases where the infection has been transferred to a human. People with a weak immunity system and individuals who suffer from conditions like cancer, HIV are highly likely to get infected with kennel cough if they are in close contact with an infected dog.
Kennel cough is a common phenomenon in shelter dogs because of the poor living conditions they are kept in. However, this does not mean that pet dogs do not catch the kennel cough infection. It is a highly contagious infection, and any dog in close contact with a sick dog can catch it.
The best way to treat your sick dog is to immediately diagnose the infection and start the necessary kennel cough treatment. Regular and timely vaccination is also essential to ensure that your dog builds a strong immune system to fight the infection.
There are a lot of over-the-counter medicines that vets prescribe to help with a kennel cough infection. Antibiotics and the right care at home are all your dog needs to bounce back and be the energetic creature it has always been.