Published On: Fri, Feb 28th, 2020

The Symptoms and Treatment of Kennel Cough

The constant coughing or ‘hacking’ brought about by a nasty case of kennel cough is enough to leave pet owners very concerned about the wellbeing of their animal. However, in most cases, the bacterial infection isn’t quite as severe as it sounds. Here are the facts that you need to know.

What is kennel cough? 

Kennel cough is a bacterial infection that can cause inflammation of the larynx and the trachea, ultimately resulting in persistent coughing that may sound as though the infected animal has something stuck in its throat.

How can a dog catch kennel cough? 

In dogs, kennel cough is very similar to a human cold and is caught by coming into direct contact with the bacteria. This is often through direct contact with another infected animal.

photo/ Alexandr Ivanov

What are the symptoms of kennel cough? 

As already mentioned, the main symptom of kennel cough is a persistent coughing or ‘hacking’ sound. Many pet owners have likened the noise to the sound of a goose honk. Other possible symptoms may include lethargy, eye discharge, sneezing, and a runny nose. 

How is kennel cough treated? 

In the vast majority of cases, kennel cough resolves itself without any necessary treatment within three to six weeks of the animal showing symptoms. However, it is essential to seek out veterinary care from South Peak vets if ever kennel cough is suspected. This is because the symptoms associated with this bacterial infection may be caused by something more serious, such as a blockage in the throat. A reputable vet will be able to confirm the diagnosis and advise you in terms of how you can help speed up your pet’s recovery. Some vets may also opt to prescribe a course of antibiotics or perhaps give you some cough medicine to ease the symptoms.

Often, it can help to place your pet in a room with a humidifier, especially when they settle down to sleep at night. This may aid in keeping the windpipe moist and comfortable, reducing the frequency of the coughing. It will help both you and your pet to enjoy a better quality night’s sleep! 

Furthermore, it is imperative to keep the infected animal far away from any other animals for the duration of time that he or she is symptomatic. This is because kennel cough is known to be highly contagious. 

Is there a vaccine for kennel cough?

There is. However, you need to be aware that the vaccine will not be effective in terms of treating an active infection. The vaccine is also not a sure-fire way in which to prevent kennel cough, as there are many different strains of the infection out there. It is excellent for better peace of mind and is especially recommended for pets with a high risk of developing the infection, such as those who spend a lot of time in close quarters with other pets, or senior animals with a lowered immune system. 

Understanding the intricacies of kennel cough can help you to both prevent and identify it. Don’t forget to visit your local vet for assistance if ever kennel cough is suspected in your pet.

Author: Carol Trehearn

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