If you suspect that your dog has an upper respiratory infection, then make sure to contact your veterinarian right away, and keep your dog isolated from other pets in your household in case your dog is contagious. Once your dog is diagnosed and treated, he should start to feel better after the first couple of days. Because the infection can be spread for several days, and even if your dog isn’t showing any more symptoms, it is important to keep him away from other dogs. Make sure that your dog gets plenty of rest, and do not let him run off-leash because he can overdo it while running, and this will make his cough worse. If you need to walk him outside, make sure that you use a harness and avoid using a collar. This is because your dog’s airways will still be sensitive and inflamed, and collars put more pressure on a dog’s trachea when dogs pull forward on their leashes.
Vaccination is extremely important, and there are vaccinations available that protect against many of the pathogens that can cause kennel cough, such asBordetella, parainfluenza, and canine influenza. TheBordetella vaccine is available in three forms: oral, intranasal, and injectable. After adequate boostering, these vaccines can provide protection for up to one year. However, places with large dog populations such as boarding facilities may require that theBordetella vaccine is given every six months for maximum prevention. No vaccination is 100% effective, and a few vaccinated dogs can still develop kennel cough. However, these dogs usually have few to no symptoms compared to unvaccinated dogs.
Kennel cough has many names, and they all refer to infections that affect the upper respiratory tract and cause coughing. It is best to assume that the coughing may be contagious to other animals, and so it is important to contact your veterinarian right away in order to rule out other causes for your dog’s cough. Kennel cough usually resolves after a few days, but more severe cases require intensive hospital care and monitoring. The sooner that your dog is treated, the sooner he can go back to running, playing, and enjoying his time with you.