Canine cough, also known as kennel cough, is highly infectious disease that affects the respiratory system. It is similar to Whooping Cough in people and is caused by a similar bacteria called Bordetella, with a second component called Canine parainfluenza.
Canine cough can lead to a severe pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, particularly in puppies and unvaccinated dogs. It is spread when a dog coughs, expelling droplets and aerosols which makes transmission very easy in many settings, such as parks, out on a walk, kennels and even over the fence.
The common symptoms of canine cough include
- Dry, hacking cough
- Gagging bringing up of phlegm and in some cases food
- Fever and lethargy
- Cough that can be exacerbated with activity, dry dusty conditions and pressure on the neck such as from a collar.
Symptoms generally develop 5-7 days after exposure. Vaccinated dogs can still develop a dry cough which may last 7-10 days and can often resolve without treatment. In some dogs however the cough can be quite distressing and need treatment to help reduce the severity and duration.
Whilst vaccinations do not prevent symptoms completely, they are safe and effective in preventing the more severe forms of the illness such as pneumonia. Annual boosters are required for ongoing immunity.
If you dog is showing any symptoms please do not take them out walking as it is highly contagious, and call us if you are worried or need further advice.
If you pet needs to be seen by a Vet, we request that any coughing dog remains in the car on arrival. Please do not wonder around the grounds and risk infecting other patients. When ready your pet will be taken straight into a room and kept away from other pets. After the appointment please take them straight out to the car.
Our rooms are thoroughly disinfected, as are we after any suspected case of canine cough visiting our hospital.