Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough Information


What A Pet Owner Should Know About Kennel Cough

What is “Kennel Cough”?

Kennel Cough (also known as canine infectious Tracheobronchitis) is an upper respiratory infection in dogs. There are multiple causative agents, the most common being the bacteria Bordatella Bronchiseptica, followed by Canine Parainfluenza Virus, and to a lesser extent Canine Coronavirus. It is highly contagious, however adult dogs may display immunity to reinfection even under constant exposure.

Kennel Cough is so named because the infection can spread quickly among dogs in the close quarters of a kennel, or shelter. Viral and bacterial causes of canine cough are spread through airborne droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. These agents also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces.

What are the symptoms?

Kennel cough symptoms can include a harsh, dry cough, retching, sneezing, snorting, gagging, or vomiting in response to light pressing of the trachea, or after excitement, or exercise. The presense of a fever varies from case to case.

Symptoms begin after a several day incubation period of 2 to 14 days and in most cases will clear up on their own. However, in come cases it is necessary for a vet to give care.

Does Kennel cough occur only in pet care facilities?

No. Much like our common cold, these viruses can occur anywhere, and can travel for considerable distances through the air and on contaminated surfaces.

Dogs can even be exposed at home, or on a walk through the park. However, it is more likely to take place at locations where there is a concentration. Dog parks, veterinarian offices, pet stores, or at facilities that offer doggie day care, are all locations where contaminated surfaces can be found.

How can I protect my dog?

The best way to protect your dog is by vaccinating for canine adenovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, and Bordatella. These components are all included in the DHLPP and Bordatella vaccinations.

Also, inform your veterinarian that your pet will be participating in group play with other pets, so they can make sure your pet is properly vaccinated.

Can’t the boarding facility, or day care prevent my dog from catching kennel cough?

Your pets’ health is very important to us. Every day our team strives to provide pets with a healthy, fun, and clean environment. While the spread of canine cough can be minimized by proper cleaning, isolating obviously sick animals, and properly ventilating the facility, remember that no amount of supervision, sanitation, or personalized care, is guaranteed to be 100% effective against the illness.

All that a good pet care facility can do is require immunization against kennel cough, refuse to admit an obviously sick dog, follow responsible cleaning and sanitation practices, listen and watch for any signs of sickness, and make sure that any dog requiring veterinary attention receives it as quickly as possible. You a right to expect a pet care facility to provide the best possible care just as the facility has the right to expect you to accept financial responsibility for such care.

Fur & Feathers would like to thank the ABKA,, and for information provided in this post.