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The Scoop About Kennel Cough or More Appropriately Canine Cough

May 06, 2015

Dog Nose

So while we are on the subject of health topics, I want to give you the scoop about canine cough . . .

"Kennel Cough" or more accurately, "Canine Cough" is an upper respiratory infection (bacterial or viral) that causes a deep, dry cough, runny eyes and nose, and/or vomiting of some phlem.

In most cases, it is not dangerous and just needs to run its course similar to a common cold in people. In severe cases it can lead to a secondary infection or pneumonia if untreated. The Bordetella vaccination is an effective deterrent, but not a guarantee against contracting it. There are 11 strains of canine cough and the current vaccine only protects against 5 of the 11.

The reference "Kennel Cough" is misleading, because it leads people to believe that it comes from boarding your dog . . . well yes and no. A reputable kennel or boarding facility is actually the least likely place your dog will contract it as long as proof of vaccination is required. It is more likely contracted at dog parks, playing with neighbor dogs, meeting up with dogs at a park or on the trails, or any other place where dogs congregate and where proof of vaccination is not required.

Remember, they are sharing water bowls, balls and saliva - all potential sources of the spread of canine cough. Also, just as with a cold or flu, there is an incubation period . . . typically 5-10 days from exposure, before a dog may be symptomatic.

Just like kids at school or you at work, where a cold or flu can be spread . . . exposure to canine cough it is part of life. The only way to avoid exposure is to completely isolate your dog form all other dogs and frankly that is no life at all. My siblings and I play at a Minnesota dog boarding facility, Top Dog Country Club, every single day of the year . . . and so we have developed very strong immune systems that help us fight off viruses . . . so go ahead and let your dogs play.

If your dog shows symptoms of canine cough then isolate him/her until those symptoms are gone . . . and then let him get back to having fun!

Canine Cough Video