What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is an acute highly contagious respiratory tract disease of dogs, caused by viral, bacterial or mycoplasma organisms. Most coughs dogs get are classed as kennel cough.
Also known as Canine Infectious Tracheo bronchitis. It is caused by several organisms including but not limited to: Canine para influenza virus, canine adeno viruses type 1 and 2 and canine herpes virus, but the main most common organism and what the kennel cough vaccine has been developed for is Bordatella brochiseptica.
What happens to the Body?
These infectious organisms infect and cause inflammation to the trachea, larynx, bronchial tree and lungs, causing irritation, coughing and an increase in mucus secretions.
The coughing will be more severe upon lying down, this will make the animal appear restless and also with a change of weather or atmospheric environment or after exertion.
Kennel cough can affect dogs of any age, and is self limiting with most recovering well. But can be dangerous in young puppies, as it can progress to fatal bronchopneumonia. Also in convalescing or older dogs when it can progress to chronic bronchitis.
Incubation time can be 3 to 10 days after initial contamination, and can last for up to several weeks. It can be transmitted via dog to dog contact or through contaminated surfaces such as bedding, food and water bowels.
Injury to the respiratory tract from coughing can lead to secondary bacterial infections from Bordatella brochiseptica, Pseudomonas sp or Escherichia coli.
What are symptoms of kennel cough?
There will be a sudden onset of non productive or productive dry barking spasms of coughing, alot of people will describe this as a hacking cough, which may appear as if they have a bone stuck in the throat. Nasal discharge, lack of appetite, lethargic and your dog may seem depressed. The dog will show signs of laryngitis, tracheitis and bronchitis. This an upper respiratory tract disease, so if rattling in the lungs is heard please seek veterinary advice.
What you can do to help?
Lots of rest for at least a week, in a dry warm area is best. Good nutrition and lots of fluids (water) is also very important. Try to keep the dog away from other dogs as it is very contagious. The animal may need antibiotics if it is a more severe case or if a secondary bacterial infection occurs. If a dog is not showing signs of recovering after 2 weeks then veterinary advice will be needed.
Remedies in the Tagiwig range that can help to support your dog when it is suffering from kennel cough or any form of respiratory disease are:
Canine Sniffles for remedy for kennel cough, hacking cough, respiraotyr inflammation
Immune Tonic to help boost the immune system
Liver tonic to support the liver and immune system