Kennel Cough or Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis – Symptoms and Treatment
The canine infectious tracheobronchitis , more commonly known as “kennel cough”, is a condition that affects the respiratory system and usually develops in places where live a lot of dogs, as kennels. This fact was what gave the popular name to this condition.
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In the past, this disease occurred only in dogs with inadequate hygiene conditions. However, with the increase of animal protectors, abandoned pet shelters, dog shows and, in general, places where a large number of dogs are concentrated, the condition has spread more rapidly due to its high contagion rather than inappropriate conditions. If you suspect your dog has been infected, continue reading this YourCatCareguide article and discover the symptoms and treatment of kennel cough or infectious canine tracheobronchitis .
Kennel Cough in Dogs – What is it?
Kennel cough is a viral condition , highly contagious, produced mainly by parainfluenza virus (PIC) or canine adenovirus type 2, agents that weaken the respiratory tract and, as a consequence, facilitate the entry of opportunistic bacteria such as Bordetella brinchiseptica,producing a bacterial infection and worsening the clinical state of the animal.
This pathology directly affects the respiratory system, causing an infection that can be more or less serious, depending on the agents that act, the external conditions and the time that the dog is infected. To get a better idea of the type of disease you are experiencing, we can say that kennel cough is very much like the flu that we humans get.
It is an increasingly common condition among dogs, it is not serious and can be treated with a simple medical treatment.
Kennel cough – contagion
As we said at the beginning, the most common is that kennel cough develops in places where a large number of dogs live. In these cases, controlling the disease is much more difficult than when it comes to a particular and isolated case.
As with the flu, this condition is transmitted orally and nasally. After the animal has been infected, the viral agents can be transmitted to other dogs during the first two weeks . In the case of the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica the transmission can extend up to three months. In this way, when a sick patient expels the pathogenic germs through the respiratory secretions, another healthy one that is near him can acquire them and begin to develop the disease.
Puppies less than 6 months old are much more likely to suffer from this disease. Especially if we adopt a dog that has been exposed to important stress situations, such as being enclosed in a cage, be especially careful and observe if you have any of the symptoms that we will explain below.
In kennels, shelters, animal protectors, foster homes with several dogs, etc., it is practically impossible to prevent the condition from spreading rapidly. Therefore, prevention is always the best solution. Later on we’ll explain how to prevent kennel cough.
Kennel Cough – Symptoms
Once infected, the dog begins having a series of clearly identifiable symptoms. The most characteristic manifestation of this condition is the appearance of a dry , strong, constant and hoarse cough caused by the inflammation of the vocal cords.
In more advanced cases, the cough may be accompanied by a slight depletion of the secretions deposited in the respiratory system by the pathogenic germs. This expulsion is usually mistaken for mild vomiting or foreign body. As far as possible, it is advisable to reserve a sample and take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible for the latter to examine. In this way, in addition to analyzing the physical appearance of your dog, the veterinarian can study the discharge and offer a better diagnosis.
You should know that these moderate vomiting are not caused by stomach problems, we remember that this disease only affects the respiratory system. They develop by the same inflammation and irritation of the throat caused by dry cough.
The weakness, malaise, lack of appetite and energy are other symptoms that kennel cough is usually present. If you see that your puppy shows some of these clues, do not hesitate and consult the veterinarian quickly. Although it is not a serious character illness, it needs medical treatment to be cured and prevent it from getting worse.
Puppies coming from kennels, pet stores or breeders, exposed to stressful conditions, may lead to pneumonia.
Treatment for kennel cough
In particular cases, the first thing you should do is to isolate the sick dog inside the house, in a room alone for him for at least seven days, or the time the treatment lasts. This step is essential to prevent the disease from spreading and infecting the neighboring dogs.
Once isolated, the simplest way to control and stop kennel cough is with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories . Depending on the condition of the dog and the progress of the disease, the veterinarian will choose to prescribe one type of medicine or another. Since several viral agents may be involved in the development of this pathology, it is practically impossible to determine standard medical treatment for all cases. The most advisable is to go to your usual vet to be a specialist to determine what is the best treatment to follow. You can also help with some home remedies to supplement the treatment of veterinarians .
In dogs that show weakness and lack of appetite, you should make sure that they ingest the minimum amount of water stipulated by the veterinarian to prevent dehydration, dilute the secretions deposited in the respiratory tract and promote ventilation.
How to Prevent Kennel Cough
Undoubtedly, the best way to treat any contagious disease is through prevention. In kennels, breeders, pet stores, etc., it is essential to have adequate hygiene and general conditions to preserve the health of dogs. When this fails, pathogens are more likely to develop and begin to spread the disease.
On the other hand, there is a specific vaccine to protect the dog from this particular pathology, the Bb + PIC. However, it is not available in all countries and, therefore, we can not always use this preventive method. In this sense, it is essential to have up-to-date the schedule of compulsory vaccines for dogs, since even though they do not prevent the appearance of kennel cough, it helps reduce symptoms and facilitate their cure.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you want to read more articles similar to kennel cough or canine infectious tracheobronchitis – symptoms and treatment , we recommend you to come into our section of Respiratory .