Kennel Cough: Understanding the Symptoms and Treatment
Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs. If you’re a dog owner, it’s important to know what kennel cough is, how to spot the symptoms, and what medicine is good for treating it. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about kennel cough and how to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is a complex respiratory illness that is caused by a combination of bacteria and viruses. It is spread through the air when an infected dog coughs or sneezes, and it can also be spread through direct contact with contaminated surfaces. Kennel cough is particularly common in environments where dogs are housed together in close quarters, such as kennels, dog parks, and dog shows.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough
The symptoms of kennel cough can vary depending on the severity of the infection, but some of the most common signs include:
- A persistent, dry cough
- Nasal discharge
- Loss of appetite
If you suspect that your dog has kennel cough, it’s important to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances of a successful treatment.
Treatment for Kennel Cough
The treatment for kennel cough will depend on the severity of the infection and the underlying cause. In mild cases, the illness may resolve on its own within a few weeks with proper rest and hydration. However, in more severe cases, antibiotics may be necessary to clear the infection.
One of the most effective medicines for treating kennel cough is Doxycycline. This antibiotic is a broad-spectrum medication that is effective against a wide range of bacteria, including the ones that cause kennel cough. Doxycycline works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, which allows the immune system to clear the infection. It’s also a relatively safe medication, with few side effects, making it a popular choice for treating kennel cough in dogs.
Another medicine that is often used to treat kennel cough is Amoxicillin. This is a type of penicillin antibiotic that is effective against a wide range of bacteria, including the ones that cause kennel cough. Amoxicillin works by preventing bacteria from forming the cell walls that they need to grow and reproduce. It’s a relatively safe medication, with few side effects, and it’s often used as a first-line treatment for kennel cough in dogs.
In addition to antibiotics, there are other treatments that can help to relieve the symptoms of kennel cough. For example, cough suppressants, such as Butamirate, can help to reduce the frequency and severity of coughing. Decongestants, such as Pseudoephedrine, can help to clear nasal congestion and improve breathing. And anti-inflammatory medications, such as Prednisone, can help to reduce inflammation in the airways and improve breathing. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend the best treatment for your dog based on their individual needs and the severity of their kennel cough.
Preventing Kennel Cough
The best way to prevent kennel cough is to keep your dog up-to-date on their vaccines. The bordetella vaccine, which is specifically designed to protect against kennel cough, is usually given as an intranasal vaccine and provides protection within a few days of administration. It’s important to note that the bordetella vaccine is not 100% effective, but it can help to reduce the severity and duration of the illness if your dog does become infected.
In addition to vaccines, there are other steps you can take to reduce the risk of kennel cough. For example, avoiding high-risk environments, such as dog parks and kennels, can help to reduce the risk of exposure. Regularly washing your dog’s toys, bedding, and other items can help to reduce the spread of the illness. And maintaining good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands after handling your dog or other dogs, can help to reduce the risk of transmission.
Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory illness that affects dogs. It’s important to know what the symptoms are and how to treat the illness to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. Doxycycline and Amoxicillin are two of the most effective medicines for treating kennel cough, and there are other treatments that can help to relieve the symptoms. The best way to prevent kennel cough is to keep your dog up-to-date on their vaccines and to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure. If you suspect that your dog has kennel cough, it’s important to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and treatment.