Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough seems to have no set time of contagiousness except that while the dog is sick with KC they are contagious. It is a self-limiting disease that is gone when it's run its course and that can take anywhere from up to one to four weeks. KC is often from an airborne virus yet many Vets will put animals on antibiotics to avoid anything developing into the secondary infection of pneumonia(bacterial) and/or a cough suppressant. Dogs with a runny nose or eyes, that feel ill, or that run a fever may have a secondary infection such as pneumonia, and require more intensive care.

Viral causes of kennel cough include canine parainfluenza virus and canine adenovirus-2. Bordetella bronchiseptica is the most common bacteria isolated from dogs with tracheobronchitis. 'Kennel Cough,' now more commonly referred to as 'infectious tracheobronchitis' is a widespread disease caused by several different viruses and bacteria. There are so many strains of KC and it is forever evolving and mutating; just like our human ‘cold' and ‘flu'.

It is not the KC that one has to truly worry about; it is the secondary infection of pneumonia that is the biggest concern. In operating a Rescue; working at an Animal Hospital plus in having had one of my own show GD's pick up KC at a show a few years ago in addition to rescue dogs exposing my own; I have been exposed to this more often than I would like to be.

The usual course of the the KC disease includes a harsh honking cough that intensifies for a week or slightly more, then slackens and disappears. Symptoms can also include a persistent dry or even moist hacking cough or bouts of deep harsh coughing often followed by gagging, which may produce a foamy mucus. The cough itself usually lasts from 2 to 8 weeks.

KC incubation period can be 2- 14 days and a cough can be seen in anywhere in that 5-10 day incubation period time frame.

You can treat with raw honey as a natural remedy.

Author: Gwendilin Boers