Recognizing and Treating Kennel Cough in Dogs

Kennel cough is a term used to describe canine bronchitis, an inflammation of a dog’s windpipe and respiratory system. It’s similar to a chest cold in us humans, and it’s very contagious to other dogs. Learn more as a Davis County veterinarian answers your questions below.

How Did My Dog Get Kennel Cough?

Since kennel cough is so contagious between dogs, your dog probably caught the infection by being around other dogs. It’s spread directly from dog-to-dog contact, especially in close quarters with minimal circulation—such as a kennel or dog shelter, hence the name. Your dog could even get it will sitting in obedience class, interacting with dogs at the park, or just greeting an infected dog on the street.

What Are the Symptoms of Kennel Cough?

A dry cough, usually with a distinctive “honk” sound, is the major symptom of kennel cough and the most obvious sign. Many dogs will remain healthy except for this cough, although some could develop a fever.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Kennel Cough?

If you suspect your dog has contracted kennel cough, call your vet’s office and set up an appointment. Keep your dog isolated from other dogs to prevent any further spread of the infection.

How Is Kennel Cough Treated?

In many cases, kennel cough resolves itself, and your vet might advise you to try and keep your dog comfortable until the coughing stops. You can provide a humidifier device or let the bathroom get steamy while you shower, then let your dog in to get some relief. Also take heed not to expose your dog to any smoke or other inhalants, and don’t let her pull against her collar when walking, as this can irritate the cough even more.

In some cases, a prescription drug or cough medicine might be prescribed. Ask your Davis County veterinarian about these options, as well as more about kennel cough and how to treat it.


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