Canine infectious tracheobronchitis, otherwise known as Kennel Cough is diagnosed by a veterinarian when an infection (viral or bacterial) is located in the bronchial tubes or trachea of a canine, resulting in a deep honking cough. In some cases a few other common symptoms may occur such as; lethargy, loss of appetite, runny nose or eyes, and wheezing. It’s spread between other dogs through airborne droplets, making it easily transmissible in shared spaces, coining it the nickname of kennel cough.
Now you may be thinking, how can I best prevent this for my pup? Can I take them anywhere? Don’t fret, while this may sound a bit scary, kennel cough is usually a mild case thanks to current vaccinations and treatments available through your local veterinarian, and there are many steps to take to help prevent kennel cough. If you plan to have your dog around others, your vet will most commonly administer a Bordetella vaccination in order to prevent infection from the most common bacteria that causes kennel cough, Bordetella bronchiseptica.
When it comes to their environment, ensure that the dog park or other shared areas you frequent are cleaned adequately and frequently, and when your dog needs a place to stay, pick the right place! When picking a boarding facility, make sure they are using the best practices for minimal transmission. Practices such as no shared water, required vaccinations, and adequate cleaning routines are a must. BHV requires all dogs to have an up to date Bordetella vaccination on file (along with a few others) and maintains a strict cleaning regimen on our indoor, and outdoor facilities in order to keep kennel cough cases to an absolute minimum. Each dog is also provided with their own room and water during downtime whether they are here for daycare, or boarding.
Unfortunately, even with all of these precautions, kennel cough cases can still occur. If you’ve found yourself in a situation with a canine that seems to have kennel cough, immediately begin a 2-week quarantine for your dog from being around other dogs or pets. The Bordetella vaccine will aid in keeping your dog’s symptoms to a minimum. If symptoms seem to worsen or continue after 2 weeks, reach out to your vet for further treatment. Contact any facility your dog was at, and inform them of the case so they can take extra safety measures.
Hopefully you are feeling a bit more informed as a pet parent so you can make the best decision for your canine, please follow up with a veterinarian if you have any following questions regarding kennel cough.