Kennel Cough In Dogs

An Introduction

Many times, a dog can make strange noises, that may appear as if it is chocking on something. Commonly known as a kennel cough, the condition has a clinical name of canine infectious tracheobronchitis.

The clinical name of the condition can scare some people. The fact is most of the cases of a kennel cough are mild, and most dogs get well without treatment.


A common cough is a frequent occurence in humans. Our furry pals can also put up with kennel cough, as a result of contacting the flu viruses. One of the most common bacteria is the Bordetella Bronchiseptica m. Bordetella is another name for kennel cough.

There are also some ubiquitous viruses which can make the dog susceptible to get the Bordetella Bronchiseptica m virus. These organisms are canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus, canine herpesvirus, canine reovirus, and parainfluenza virus.

A kennel cough happens when the dog accidentally inhales the bacteria or virus particles. These particles then travel into the respiratory tract of the animal and cause harm. The respiratory tract has a natural line of the coat of mucous that traps foreign particles. Some factors can weaken the intestinal tract and make the dog prone to suffer from the infection. These factors are:


  1. Exposure to poorly ventilated places, such as in dog shelters or in kennels.
  2. Temperature, inclining towards the colder side.
  3. Exposure to cigarette smoke and dust particle.
  4. Stress due to long hours of traveling.


The predominant sign of the condition is a frequent, forceful and persistent cough. A cough often sounds like a goose’s honk. The patient makes an unusual sound which isn't common in dogs, especially in the younger ones. Something called reverse sneezing can be reasonable in certain dogs, and in most cases only indicates post nasal drip or slight irritation of the throat.

Some canines with a kennel cough can dispose of some other signs such as sneezing, or eye discharges or a runny nose. In most of the cases, the affected dog won't have any issue with the appetite or a decreased level of energy.

Can Humans get the Condition?

Generally, this condition won't affect humans. But in cases, where if a child or a human is having a compromised immune system, then the person will be at a higher risk of developing the condition.

Treating and Preventing the disorder

Kennel Cough In Dogs2

Canine infectious tracheobronchitis is hugely infectious. So, if diagnosis shows the presence of the condition, the owner will have to make sure that the dog stays in isolation, away from other animals in the house. Medications will be the need of the hour to reduce the pain and inflammation of the patient.

Treating the condition will include targeting the bordetella bacteria, with things like cough medicine. The owner can also keep the patient in a well-humidified room, using a harness instead of a collar, especially for dogs who strain against the wall, to minimize the coughing.

A majority of dogs with the condition recovers within three weeks, but in the case of the older dogs, the recovery can take as long as six weeks. Ongoing severe kennel cough can lead to the development of Pneumonia, so the owner will have to constantly stay in touch with the vet to avoid future consequences.

If a dog is disposing of signs like rapid breathing, less interest in eating food, or listlessness, the owner should immediately consult the vet, as these signs may indicate severe disorders.


There are three kinds of vaccines for the dogs in the market. The first one is directly injected into the dog’ s body. The second one is given as a nasal mist to the animal. And the third is administered orally.

These vaccines can help a lot in combating the condition but does not guarantee full-time protection against the condition, because the condition can be caused by a variety of factors from the environment. One must also take note of the actuality that vaccination will not treat an active case of the condition.

The oral and intranasal form of vaccination is available once every year. At times, a recommendation can be given, and accordingly, vaccination can be administered every six months. These form of immunization provides the immediate protection against the disease. The oral and intranasal variety is much safer than the injectable options.

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