Kennel Cough – Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

kennel coughHere at A&T Trained Dogs, we insist on kennel cough vaccination for all dogs that come on our residential dog training courses or one-to-one dog training courses, or who come to stay with us in our kennels near Lancaster for boarding or doggy daycare. But what is kennel cough, what are the symptoms and how can you protect your dog from catching it.

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough is another name for the disease called canine infectious tracheobronchitis. It is an upper respiratory disease that affects the airways of dogs, causing swelling and irritation. The main symptom is a hacking or honking cough and your dog may otherwise appear well with a good energy and appetite. In some cases, your dog may also display sneezing or snorting, retching or gagging as they try to expel the irritation in their throat.

How is kennel cough spread?

Like most respiratory infections, kennel cough is spread through airborne bacteria and viruses expelled during coughing and sneezing. These can either be inhaled directly by other dogs or settle on surfaces and spread through contact. The disease spreads rapidly where there is a large concentration of dogs, hence the name kennel cough.

How is kennel cough treated?

In most cases, kennel cough will sort itself out in two to three weeks without the need for veterinary treatment. If your dog seems otherwise well, then you can let the disease run its course, keeping them away from other dogs until they have recovered.
If your dog appears to be unwell, or displays a high temperature, you should consult your vet for advice (but ring ahead first so that they can take precautions to protect other dogs). Your vet can prescribe antibiotics for certain causes of kennel cough and cough mixture or anti-inflammatory drugs to sooth their sore throat.

Protecting your dog from kennel cough

Kennel cough is caused by a wide range of bacteria and viruses, often working together, so there is no complete vaccination that will protect your dog 100%. However, your vet can provide a vaccination against the two biggest causes of kennel cough: parainfluenza virus and the Bordatella bronchiseptica bacteria. This highly effective vaccination comes as a nasal solution which is squirted directly into their nose. You will usually find that this treatment costs extra on top of your dog’s normal booster jabs, adding around £30 to the total cost.

Does your dog need kennel cough vaccination?

While kennel cough is not normally anything to worry about, like A&T, most professional kennels will not accept dogs without kennel cough vaccination, although some places will relax the rules during the winter months when the disease is less virulent. It is worth noting that full immunity does not develop immediately, so you will need to get your dog vaccinated at least a week or two before your kennel booking. If your dog is vaccinated immediately before they are due to go to kennels, they may not be accepted as the vaccination uses a live virus that could be transmitted to others.

Fully vaccinated dogs

Naturally, all A&T Trained Dogs for sale come fully vaccinated, including kennel cough, whether they are perfect pets or fully trained family protection dogs. Our high standards also ensure that your dog will be safe when they visit us for dog obedience training, doggie daycare near Lancaster or any other dog training classes.