Preventing Kennel Cough

Some of the viruses which cause Kennel Cough are contained in the basic vaccinations required by puppies and the subsequent “boosters”. However, Bordetella bronchiseptica is not included but can be given as a separate vaccination which is often given nasally. It is this vaccine which is required by many boarding kennels before a dog can stay with them.

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What to do if your dog has Kennel Cough?

Firstly, avoid mixing with other dogs which aren’t your own. Unfortunately, by the time the cough is evident, all of your dogs are likely to have been exposed. Always consult a vet when you suspect your dog of having kennel cough. In most cases the vet will give the dog something to suppress the cough which reduces further damage to the airway. Do not take your dog to meet others until it has completely stopped coughing which can be anywhere from five days to a month.

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How can dogs catch Kennel Cough?

Kennel Cough will spread rapidly in the air or by direct contact with a group of dogs in the right conditions. Such as: Close contact with other dogs; for instance, in kennels or backs of trucksExercise, excitement and exposure to cold air stimulates the cough and spreads the viruses and bacteriaHigh levels of humidity such as foggy mornings, warm and poorly ventilated kennelsStressful situations such as boarding kennels or lots of barkingMixing with dogs of uncertain or no vaccination history

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The most obvious is a hacking cough that can sound as if your dog has something stuck in its throat. This can result in the production of white froth or mucus. Other than the cough, generally healthy dogs may not be too ill; they may have a mild temperature and be a little off their food. However, in very young/old or dogs which have an existing illness, kennel cough can be more severe and develop into pneumonia. There are also different strains of the infection which can be more severe than others.

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