Kennel cough or canine cough is a respiratory infection that affects dogs and makes them sick. This cough is caused by a certain type of virus and bacteria. The dogs that are under this flu can feel the effects of it in their lungs, windpipe, and voice box. Kennel cough can be quite distressing and painful for both the dog and the owner. The worst thing about this flu is that it is contagious. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the owners to keep their dogs protected from infected dogs. Let’s find out more about this flu that may get your dog.
How do Dogs Catch Kennel Cough
Canine cough is caused when bordetalla bacteria and the canine para-influenza virus attacks the cells in the respiratory tract. This flu can harm the trachea and takes about ten days to go away. However, some dogs might not be affected by the kennel cough but can be potential carriers of this virus. This means that this flu can infect any dog. Due to its contagious nature, canine cough can get onto any dog through different ways that are given below.
Kennel cough is just like the flu that we humans suffer from whenever there is a change in the season. Kennel cough is an extremely contagious virus that can get onto any dog that comes in contact with a contaminated object. If an infected dog has coughed over a carpet and another dog sits on it, it will catch the flu. Similarly, it is harmful for your dog to share water and food with an infected dog. Almost anything that comes in contact with an infected dog becomes contaminated. Therefore, it is important to keep a watchful eye on your dog and avoid letting it be near such objects.
As the flu is contagious, it can affect another dog is it comes in contact with a dog that has kennel cough. Even if the infected dog doesn’t directly cough on your dog, there is a high chance that it will still catch the flu. Many dogs do not show signs of kennel cough but are actually the carriers of the virus and bacteria. So, if your dog is playing with an infected dog or near one, it might catch kennel cough.
Air is the primary carrier of kennel cough virus. When an infected dog coughs, several hundred microscopic bacteria mix in the air. These bacteria then travel on tiny dust particles until they are inhaled by another living being. If your dog inhales the contaminated air, its upper respiratory tract will start to cause problem as these bacteria will get to their business to destroy cells.
What Symptoms Does a Dog Suffering from Kennel Cough Exhibit
If a dog is exposed to the kennel cough bacteria, it will develop a painful dry cough after 3 to 10 days. Kennel cough is not a serious condition unless it is treated in time. If left untreated, this flu can aggravate and cause other fatal illnesses including pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. Therefore, it is best to learn about this flu’s symptoms and make sure that your dog isn’t exhibiting any of them.
• The most prominent symptom of kennel cough virus is a dry cough. This cough is extremely uncomfortable and sounds like a loud honk. Some infected dogs might cough only for a few minutes and some might cough all the time. Therefore, if you find your dog coughing badly, you might want to take it to the vet or check its temperature.
• If your dog is showing signs of weakness, lethargy, and laziness, you should check its temperature. If the dog has high temperature and is constantly coughing, you should know that it is the kennel cough virus. Dogs that are infected with kennel cough usually catch a fever. Fever is a sign that your dog is suffering.
• Due to their dry windpipe and infected lungs, the dogs suffering from kennel cough often find it hard to maintain regular breath after physical activity or routine exercises. Because the dog is unable to breathe, it starts to cough and its dry windpipe causes vomiting.
• A dog that is suffering from kennel cough virus has runny eyes and nose. This flu in dogs is just like the flu that we catch in which our eyes get watery and our nose never stops running. If you find nasal and eye discharge, get your dog checked for kennel cough virus.
• Apart from dry coughs, a dog that is infected by the kennel cough virus continually sneezes. If your dog is sneezing unusually and is discharging liquid from eyes and nose, then it might be infected by kennel cough.
• A dog that is suffering from kennel cough virus can be quite lethargic. An infected dog will not take interest in playing, walking, and eating. It might also appear lazy and weak. However, not every dog that has the flu is lethargic. Therefore, make sure you keep all the symptoms in mind before coming onto a conclusion.
Although kennel cough is a lot like the regular cold that we catch but it has far more dangerous effects in dogs than in humans. This flu can have dramatic effects on your dog’s mental and physical health including damage to other systems of the body. If kennel cough is left untreated for several days, it can turn into a deadly disease. In order to avoid instances like these, you need to take your dog to the vet immediately after observing one or more of these symptoms.
How to Treat a Dog with Kennel Cough
Kennel cough is an easily treatable illness. However, in order to get it treated, you need to take your dog to the vet at the right time. If a healthy dog catches kennel cough, it will be recovered from it without the need of any medication or treatment. However, you can still opt for different treatment options to help relieve your dog from the pain and misery caused by the flu. Below is a list of treatment options that you can opt for.
• Vitamin C supplements can be used to strengthen the dog’s immune system and give it the power to get rid of the flu on its own. To get the appropriate dosage information, you will need to consult your pet’s vet. This option is for the owners that do not want to put their dogs on antibiotics.
• Antibiotics can be really helpful in treating kennel cough. Therefore, if you consult your dog’s vet, they might prescribe dual purpose antibiotics to help your dog recover at a faster rate.
• Many vets believe in natural remedies for kennel cough virus. Therefore, these vets often prescribe herbal teas to dogs suffering from kennel cough. These teas act as soothing agents for dogs that are under strong symptoms of the flu.
• Honey is a great substitute for medicine. This natural remedy prevents the throat from drying, minimizing bad cough in dogs suffering from kennel cough. Honey also soothes swollen and scratched throat. Feeding your dog honey several times a day will help keep its throat from hurting.
• Your dog’s vet might prescribe a cough syrup to relieve your dog from throat pain. A dog that is suffering from kennel cough feels uncomfortable and irritated.
Moreover, constant dry coughs can make the dog’s throat sore, causing aches. Cough syrup is to treat all of these symptoms.
Even after the dog is treated, kennel cough can develop again if the dog is under immense stress. When a dog is under stress, its immune system begins to weaken, making its body and systems vulnerable to different diseases and illnesses.
How long does it take for the Flu to Pass
Kennel cough lasts for three to four weeks in healthy dogs. However, if your dog is weak, has a weak immune system, or is young, it might take six or more weeks for it to recover from the flu completely. In order to avoid relapse, you need to get proper medication from your vet. The dogs that are treated can still carry the virus. Therefore, it is important for dog owners to make sure that the dog is fully treated from the virus.
Keeping the Dog Protected
Now that you are aware of kennel cough, you need to realize that it is quite painful and stressful for the dog. Therefore, it is best to act on a prevention plan than making your dog suffer from the flu’s painful symptoms. Not to forget that the treatment for this virus can cost you a lot of money and endless visits to the vet.
Kennel cough may be caused due to any reason but there are many things that you can do to keep your dog protected and minimize the chances of it getting to your dog. Let’s take a look at some prevention measures that every dog owners must take to keep their dogs away from kennel cough.
• Vaccinate the dog for kennel cough. This is the most effective way of keeping your dog protected from this virus. This vaccine can be given to a dog with its other vaccinations. Kennel cough vaccine is given in two ways; intranasal vaccine or injectable dose. Intranasal vaccine is a rather new technology that causes less pain.
• Use disinfectants to clean every object in your house, especially the dog’s food and water bowl, and its bedding. Use a good surface disinfectant and sterilize
the entire home.
• Do not take your dog to dog parks, dog friendly beaches, pet shops, and pet shows. Because there are several dogs at these places, there is a high chance for your dog to catch the flu from an infected dog of virus carrier. Even if the dog doesn’t come in contact with an infected dog, it might inhale bacteria packed air into its lungs.
• Use an air purifier to keep the air protected from these viruses and bacteria. Majority of kennel cough viruses and bacteria are floating freely on dust particles in the air. Therefore, having an air purifier is a must for every dog owner. When purchasing an air purifier, make sure that it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals that may harm your dog’s health.
• Another way to keep your dog protected from kennel cough is to get it checked by a vet regularly.
• Infected Protection dogs can easily spread this virus onto other Personal Personal dogs that come in contact with them. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on your dog. Do not let your dog mingle with the dogs that have the flu.
Kennel cough can cause a lot of pain, distress, and frustration in dogs. Therefore, it is important for dog owners to be aware of the symptoms in order to take action in time.