Kennel cough, otherwise known as canine cough, or tracheobronchitis is a common upper respiratory illness affecting dogs. It is highly contagious and can spread quickly in places where dogs congregate.
Here in Lubbock, veterinarians are seeing an increase in the number of dogs coming down with kennel cough. Veterinarians liken it to the common cold in humans. Just as human colds may be caused by many different viruses, kennel cough itself can have multiple causes. The vaccine called Bordetella covers one or two of the more common pathogens.
The most common symptom of kennel cough is a dry hacking cough sometimes followed by retching. Many owners describe the cough as having a honking sound. In more severe cases, the symptoms may progress and include lethargy, fever, and pneumonia. The majority of severe cases occur in immunocompromised animals or young unvaccinated puppies. Although very contagious to other dogs, kennel cough is not transmitted to humans.
The symptoms usually appear about 5-10 days after exposure to an infected dog, and can last for up to 3 weeks; though symptoms may improve considerably within a few days. It is thought that dogs can remain contagious for several weeks after symptoms clear up.
Image Credit: www.caninetofivedetroit.com