Kennel Cough

What is kennel cough?

July 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

by SAM HYER Kennel cough is also called canine cough, bordetellosis and infectious tracheobronchitisis. Kennel cough in dogs will stimulate a coarse, dry, hacking cough about three to seven days after the dog is initially infected. It sounds as if the dog needs to “clear its throat” and the cough will be triggered by any extra activity or exercise. Many dogs that acquire kennel cough will cough every few minutes, all day long. Their general state of health and alertness will be unaffected-they usually have no rise in temperature, and do not lose their appetite. The signs of canine cough usually will last from 7 to 21 days and can be very annoying for the dog and the dog’s owners. Life-threatening cases of kennel cough are extremely rare and a vast majority of dogs that acquire the infection will recover on their own with no medication. Cough suppressants and occasionally antibiotics are the usual treatment selections. Actually, clinical cases of kennel cough are usually caused by several infectious agents working together to damage and irritate the lining of the dog’s trachea and upper bronchii. The damage to the tracheal lining is fairly superficial, but exposes nerve endings that become irritated simply by the passage of air over the damaged tracheal lining. Once the organisms are eliminated, the tracheal lining will rapidly heal. The most common organisms associated with canine cough are the bacteria called bordetella bronchiseptica, two viruses called parainfluenza virus and adenovirus, and even an organism called mycoplasma. The causative organisms can be present in the expired air of an infected dog, much the same way that human “colds” are transmitted. The airborne organisms will be carried in the air in microscopically tiny water vapor or dust particles. The airborne organisms, if inhaled by a susceptible dog, can attach to the lining of the trachea and upper airway passages, find a warm, moist surface on which to reside and replicate, and eventually damage the cells they infect. The reason this disease seems so common, and is even named “kennel” cough, is that wherever there are numbers of dogs socializing together in an enclosed environment such as a kennel, animal shelter, dog park, day care, or indoor dog show, the disease is much more likely […]