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Kennel Cough

Kennel cough got its name for being a highly contagious disease. It is frequently passed around in places where large groups of dogs gather frequently (think kennels, dog parks, groomers, pet shops, etc.) Here, a Lincoln, NE animal clinic will discuss the symptoms, treatment, and how to prevent kennel cough.

Kennel cough is spread through aerosolized droplets, infected dishes/toys, or direct contact (nose-to-nose). Symptoms generally manifest 4-10 days after exposure. The major symptom you will notice is a persistent, loud, “honking” cough. This may be accompanied by some retching or heaving like they have something stuck in their throat. A runny, nasal discharge may also be present. They may become lethargic or lose their appetite a bit. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, separate them from any other dogs you may have and call your Lincoln, NE animal clinic right away.

The veterinarian will examine your dog and determine the problem. Many issues can present like kennel cough, so they will need to rule things out. Based on a history of your pet, and possibly some laboratory diagnostics (bloodwork, x-rays) your veterinarian may conclude your dog has kennel cough. Depending on the severity of your dog’s symptoms, they may do nothing as this can go away on its own over the course of a couple weeks in a healthy dog, or they may prescribe some antibiotics and a cough suppressant to ease the symptoms.

This disease is easy to prevent. A vaccination is readily available at your Lincoln, NE animal clinic. It is available in injectable, intranasal, and oral forms! Kennel cough vaccinations are often required at most boarding, grooming, and training facilities. They are typically boostered every 6 months to a year. Since kennel cough can be caused by a large variety of bacteria or viruses, the vaccination may not completely prevent your dog from contracting it, but it can help reduce the symptoms experienced. Contact your Lincoln, NE animal clinic today to be sure your pup is protected!


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