Symptoms and Treatment for Kennel Cough in Limerick, PA
As humans, many of us have experienced the common cold. The coughing, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat can really make a person miserable. Similarly, a case of kennel cough in dogs can be uncomfortable for a dog. In most cases, your dog will recover from kennel cough within a few weeks. It can, however, develop into more serious issues, which may require medical attention. So, how do you know if your dog has kennel cough in Limerick, PA?
What is Kennel Cough in Dogs?
Kennel cough is also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis. Like the common cold, kennel cough is an infection of the upper respiratory system, which can result from several bacteria and viruses. Kennel cough causes a dog’s trachea and bronchi, that is the windpipe and small airways, to become inflamed. This inflammation typically results in a coughing dog.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough in Limerick, PA
The cough associated with kennel cough is easy to distinguish, commonly described as a persistent, dry cough that is unproductive – meaning it does not produce mucus. If your dog’s kennel cough worsens, they may also experience these symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever
Some cases of kennel cough can progress even further and include a wet cough. When this persists for a longer period, it could make your dog vulnerable to conditions like pneumonia. If your dog has encountered another pet that was infected with kennel cough, it may take up to 10 days for you to see the symptoms. While most dogs recover within a few weeks, it is still important to contact your veterinarian in Limerick, PA to ensure you have a proper treatment plan for your beloved pet.
Causes Kennel Cough in Dogs
You may be asking yourself, “How did my dog get kennel cough?” As the virus spreads easily, outbreaks can happen anywhere many dogs are present, including shelters and even dog parks. In fact, the risk of kennel cough spreading increases during busy travel seasons, such as the summer and during holidays, when many pet owners may be boarding their dogs while they travel. Other factors that may increase your dog’s chances of getting kennel cough include:
- Being around other dogs that are infected
- Staying in highly crowded areas
- Being kept in poorly ventilated environments
Just like a cold in humans, dogs can contract kennel cough by inhaling particles of bacteria and virus into their respiratory system when they breathe. Those particles can also be passed between animals when drinking from the same water bowl, playing with the same toys, or by coming into contact with droplets during play. If you suspect your dog is suffering from kennel cough, it is important that you keep them away from other animals for at least two weeks, or until the virus has cleared up.
While there are many viruses and bacteria that can lead to kennel cough, the most common cause is Bordetella bronchiseptica. It is so common, in fact, that the term Bordetella has become almost interchangeable with kennel cough. Although it may sound serious, in most cases kennel cough clears up with a few weeks of rest.
Treatment for Kennel Cough in Limerick, PA
In most cases, especially when symptoms are mild, kennel cough will go away on its own. Treatment from your veterinarian may not be necessary, but if you are concerned about your dog, it does not hurt to at least contact a medical professional. Diagnosis is largely based upon the symptoms that your dog is presenting. In most cases, your veterinarian in Limerick, PA can easily determine if your dog is suffering from kennel cough by gently massaging the dog’s trachea, which may cause your dog to cough. However, your vet may also order a variety of tests, including blood chemistry, blood cell count, or chest x-rays, to determine if your dog is suffering from kennel cough.
If symptoms worsen, or last longer than three weeks, it is likely you will need to seek professional help for your dog. Depending on the severity of your dog’s case, your vet may prescribe an antibiotic to help clear out the infection. If your dog’s symptoms are considered serious enough, they may also recommend a cough medicine or some form of anti-inflammatory treatment to soothe their throat.
Protecting Other Dogs in Your Home
Should you have multiple dogs in your home, it will be hard to keep the virus from spreading. However, there are some things you can do to protect your other pets in your home. If you have the space, the keep the infected dog away from other animals and make sure to deep clean any surface your dog may use. That includes their beds, the floors, toys, and food and water bowls.
Preventing Kennel Cough
If you kennel your dog, or take them to a dog daycare, you are likely already required to have your dog vaccinated. One of those will protect your pet from viruses such as kennel cough. The vaccine given to prevent kennel cough is the Bordetella vaccine. To remain effective, the vaccine needs to be boosted every 6 months. The vaccine can be administered through an injection, by a nasal mist, or by mouth.
While most cases of kennel cough are caused by Bordetella, other bacteria and viruses could be the cause. Your dog’s kennel cough could be caused by canine adenovirus type 2, canine respiratory coronavirus, canine parainfluenza virus, or mycoplasmas. In any case, it is important to remember that while a Bordetella vaccine may reduce the chances of your dog catching kennel cough, it is not a guarantee because of the many viruses and bacteria that can cause it. The vaccine is also not meant to treat kennel cough if your dog is actively fighting the infection.
Talk To Your Vet About Your Dog’s Kennel Cough in Limerick, PA
The best course of action, to prevent kennel cough and maintain your dog’s overall health, is to talk to your veterinarian. To make an appointment give Limerick Veterinary Hospital a call at (610) 489-2848 or make an appointment online today!