Treating And Preventing Kennel Cough
Kennel cough is contagious. If you think your dog might have the condition, you should keep them away from other animals and contact your veterinarian.
Although most cases of kennel cough will resolve without treatment, medications may speed recovery or minimize symptoms during the course of infection. These include antibiotics that target Bordetella bacteria and cough medicines.
You may also find that keeping your dog in a well-humidified area and using a harness instead of a collar, especially for dogs that strain against a leash, will minimize the coughing.
Most dogs with kennel cough recover completely within three weeks, though it can take up to six weeks in older dogs or those with other medical conditions. Because serious, ongoing kennel cough infection can lead to pneumonia, be sure to follow up with your veterinarian if your dog doesn’t improve within the expected amount of time. Also, if your dog at any time has symptoms of rapid breathing, not eating, or listlessness, contact your vet right away, as these could be signs of more serious conditions.
The intranasal and oral kennel cough vaccinations are typically given to dogs once a year, but sometimes are recommended every six months for dogs at high risk for kennel cough. These forms of the vaccine tend to provide dogs protection against kennel cough sooner than the injected product.
Diagnosis Of Kennel Cough
History and clinical signs
Kennel cough should be suspected whenever the characteristic cough suddenly develops 510 days after exposure to other susceptible or affected dogs. Severity usually diminishes during the first 5 days, but the disease persists for 1020 days. Tracheal trauma secondary to intubation may produce a similar but generally less severe syndrome. Thoracic radiographs are essential to determine the severity of disease and to exclude other causes of cough. Thoracic radiographs are often normal in dogs with a cough only. Dogs may have evidence of alveolar disease if the disease has progressed to pneumonia. Nasopharyngeal or tracheal swabs may be taken for PCR testing to evaluate for the cause of the clinical signs.
Doxycycline Dosage For Dogs
The recommended Doxycycline dose for dogs is between 2.2 and 4.5 mg per pound of body weight . The exact dose and length of treatment depend on the underlying condition.
For example, for dogs with gum disease and infection, Doxycycline use is limited to 5 to 7 days. However, the treatment may last for 30 or 45 days in dogs with respiratory infections or tick-borne diseases.
In case you forget dosing your dog, you have two options give the missed dose as soon as you remember or skip it entirely and give the next dose as scheduled.
Doxycycline is a fast-acting medication that starts working in as little as 1 to 2 hours in dogs. However, it usually takes a couple of days before any visible improvements. It is available in the form of tablets, capsules, and liquids. There is also injectable Doxycycline, but it stings a lot and is not suited for long-term use.
When dosing your dog with Doxycycline, you can reduce the risk of GI side effects and upset stomach by mixing it with food .
If using tablets without food, make sure your dog drinks at least 6 ml of water immediately after swallowing the drug. This is because Doxycycline tablets can easily get lodged in the esophagus and cause ulcers.
Finally, a word to two on proper storage. Always keep the Doxycycline in an air-tight container, at room temperature, away from light, and out of your dogs reach. Oral suspensions must be discarded 14 days after the bottle is opened.
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What Is The Biggest Antibiotic For Kennel Cough
Realizing the easiest antibiotic for kennel cough in your canine depends upon many components, and the best antibiotics will vary between animals and the severity of their indicators.
Probably the most well-liked antibiotics for kennel cough remedy are:
Whereas doxycycline is likely to be the one choice for earlier Hank, new pet Fido should take Clavamox on account of his rising bones and cartilage.
Caring For A Dog With Kennel Cough
- Rest and TLC – exercise can make a cough much worse keep your dog warm, comfortable and allow them to rest as much as they need.
- A steamy room – some dogs with kennel cough can benefit from sitting in a steamy room . Never leave your dog alone in a steamy room or force them to stay in it if they arent relaxed.
- Keep your dog away from others – remember your dog will be very contagious whilst they are poorly and can continue to spread kennel cough for 2-3 weeks after their symptoms have cleared. During this time, keep them away from other dogs and public spaces.
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Common Causes Of Your Dog Coughing Like Something Is Stuck In His Throat
Here are some common culprits to be prepared for:
- Foreign objects stuck in his throat: such as sticks, grass seeds, parts of a toy, or something else he might have grabbed when you werent looking.
- Kennel cough: the honking cough can be easily mistaken for choking.
- Another viral respiratory infection: like canine influenza
Identifying Symptoms Of Kennel Cough
The most obvious symptom is the honking or hacking cough. The cough will be persistent and may get worse over the course of a couple of days.
The cough will sound something like this:
Other warning signs include cold-like symptoms. Look out for a runny nose and nasal discharge, sneezing, eye discharge, lethargy, and a low-grade fever. Symptoms of kennel cough may appear like symptoms of canine influenza.
Tips for taking your dogs temperature: Put a thermometer into the underarm region or into the rectal area. Use an ointment or lubricant on the area before inserting the thermometer. The underarm method may take the thermometer longer to produce a result and it is not as accurate as a rectal reading. Here are the best pet thermometers our vets recommend our must-have is the Pet-Temp Instant Pet Ear Thermometer because its super simple to use.
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When To Contact Your Vet
There are many different conditions that can cause coughing so its a good idea to have your dog checked by your vet if they have a severe cough or have been coughing for more than a few days. When visiting your vet, make them aware that your dog has been coughing and wait outside until you are called to prevent spreading kennel cough to other dogs in the waiting room.
How Do Dogs Get Kennel Cough
To inhale kennel cough-causing germs and get sick themselves, your dog just has to come into close contact with an infected dog. This can happen when dogs touch each other, share food and water bowls or contact infected surfaces.
As its name implies, kennel cough can spread rapidly in places where dogs congregate such as kennels, doggie daycare, dog parks, dog shows and more. The average kennel cough incubation period is typically two to 14 days, so if you notice your dog coughing in the days or weeks after coming home from daycare or a group training class, your pet may have a case of kennel cough.
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How To Care For A Dog With Kennel Cough
Is your poor pooch suffering from kennel cough? Your first step should be to schedule a vet appointment to confirm the diagnosis. Your veterinarian will recommend the right kennel cough medicine for your dog, whether that includes an antibiotic, cough syrup or just home rest.
When your dog is home, try to isolate them from the rest of the family, especially if your household includes young children or anyone with a compromised immune system. If you have other dogs in the home, they likely also have kennel cough and should be treated accordingly.
Do not allow your diagnosed dog or any other dogs in your home to interact with any pets outside your household. Avoid dog parks, doggie daycare and the groomers.
Encourage your dog to rest and make sure they get lots of fluids and adequate portions of high-quality nutrition. Other than that, keep an eye on your pups kennel cough symptoms and let your vet know if they worsen.
Kennel cough usually lasts just a few days, but it can take weeks to fully resolve in more severe cases. A good rule of thumb is to wait a full week after all symptoms are gone before assuming your dog is no longer contagious.
When your dog has fully recovered, you might want to congratulate them with a new toy or treat. Take a look at Petcos lineup of dog products.
Common Treatment #3 Dextromorthephan
Cough suppressant medicine like Dextromorthephan commonly known as Robitussin may be prescribed to ease your dogs coughing.
The medicine will provide much-needed relief to the irritating and painful symptoms of dog coughing conditions like kennel cough.
Be sure to follow your vets advice when administering and watch out for side effects such as sedation and nausea.
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Kennel Cough Treatment And Prevention
Depending on the seriousness of the disease, dogs can be hospitalized. Hospitalization is required in severe cases, while in mild cases, the owners have to take their dogs every day to the veterinarian clinic for therapy.
During treatment, fluid therapy should be applied to avoid dehydration and to keep electrolytes at a normal level. Besides fluids, antibiotics are needed, especially when the cause of the infection is the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica. Veterinarians also prescribe antibiotics, even if kennel cough is caused by a virus. Antibiotics are applied for the prevention of secondary infections since dogs become weak and their immune system becomes compromised due to disease.
Affected dogs should rest during therapy, especially in severe cases. This means that owners will have to shorten walks and restrict any unnecessary movements. Any possible contact with other dogs or animals should be avoided. If the owner has more than one dog, they should be physically separated, so the healthy dog does not get infected. The house should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as much as possible. Chlorhexidine is the preferred disinfectant because of its antiviral effects.
To avoid kennel cough and other contagious diseases, owners should take their dogs to places with high sanitary standards and avoid crowded parks during regular walks, or at least minimize contact with other dogs.
Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis Otherwise Known As Kennel Cough
Kennel cough is a contagious respiratory disease. Dogs can contract kennel cough anywhere large groups of dogs congregate. Common examples are boarding facilities, dog parks, or animal shelters.
Kennel cough occurs when a dog inhales bacteria into the respiratory tract. You might hear kennel cough referred to as Bordetella bacteria or Bordetella bronchiseptica. Thats the name of the bacteria which mixes with another virus to produce kennel cough and other upper respiratory infections. Bordetella bronchiseptica can cause illness and coughing all on its own too.
Due to the various ways infectious bacteria can mix to make kennel cough, you might hear vets refer to kennel cough as Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex.
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What Is The Best Antibiotic For Kennel Cough
Knowing the best antibiotic for kennel cough for your dog depends on many factors, and the most effective antibiotics will vary between animals and the severity of their symptoms.
The most popular antibiotics for kennel cough treatment are:
While doxycycline could be the best choice for old Hank, new puppy Fido needs to take Clavamox due to his developing bones and cartilage.
Dog Coughing And Vomiting
In some severe cases, dog coughing may cause vomiting.
After a few days of exposure to kennel cough, excessive coughing and gagging can irritate your pups throat until he starts throwing up.
When this happens, its time to get proper treatment to avoid your dogs symptoms getting worse and his condition deteriorating.
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How Is Kennel Cough Treated
Typically, mild cases of kennel cough are treated with a week or two of rest, but a veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to prevent a secondary infection and cough medication to ease the symptoms.
Nebulizers and vaporizers utilizing inhaled antibiotics or bronchodilators have been reported to be beneficial but are usually not prescribed, Dr. Fitzgerald said. Speak to your veterinarian for treatment recommendations. Also, its helpful for owners to use a harness rather than a collar to walk a dog with kennel cough because irritation of the tracheal can aggravate the cough and possibly even cause damage to the trachea. If you have a household with multiple pets and one shows signs of a cough, chances are all dogs in the home have been exposed.
Kennel Cough In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatments Faqs
How long does kennel cough last?
Dogs with mild kennel cough are usually sick for about one or two weeks and recover well. These dogs usually only experience mild clinical signs and quickly recover from kennel cough, which translates to a good prognosis.
Dogs that have complicated cases of kennel cough can be sick for three to six weeks, with a long road to recovery. If dogs are severely affected by kennel cough and develop pneumonia, they could possibly die.
How do you treat kennel cough at home?
Holistic antioxidants for dogs, such as dimethylglycine , can be used to help modulate and boost the immune system to fight off the virus faster.
Nebulization can be performed using either a nebulizer from a human or canine pharmacy, or you can use a steamy bathroom. Run a hot shower and allow the bathroom to fill with steam. Then have your dog stay in the bathroom for 5-15 minutes a few times daily. This helps to moisten the airways and decrease irritation.
A room humidifier can also be used in the room that your dog sleeps in at night to decrease irritation in the respiratory tract.
Do not use a collar and leash. Change to using harnesses during walks, as collars with leashes place extra pressure on the trachea, which induces coughing.
Keep your pet rested during recovery. Avoid any heavy play or exercise and allow your dog to get plenty of rest.
Is sneezing a sign of kennel cough?
How long is kennel cough contagious for?
What can I give my dog for kennel cough over the counter?
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What Is The Impact Of Kennel Cough
For pet owners and pets, the impact of kennel cough can be quite significant. The recovery time for the pet can be quite frustrating and negatively impact the pets current quality of life. The pet will be considered infectious until fully recovered which limits his ability to interact with other pets in the household or attend any group play or training activities the pet is involved in. This can be difficult for many pet owners who have multiple pets. In rare situations, cats and people can also contract kennel cough from dogs and thus additional health concerns are present. Treatment may also require multiple vet visits, multiple tests, and medications which are time consuming and financially significant for many pet owners.
For pet care facilities , the concern goes well beyond simply cost. The consequences of an outbreak can be much more devastating. Pet care facilities that experience an outbreak of kennel cough may need to temporarily shut down. This means lost revenue, decreased customer satisfaction, and a damaged business reputation. Clients, repeat business, and referrals are lost. Although the kennel cough outbreak may not be any fault of the facility itself, the effects can greatly handicap both the business and its income stream.
Prevention Of Kennel Cough With Canine Vaccinations
The easiest form of prevention is vaccination. Vaccines are available for canine distemper, canine parainfluenza virus, canine adenovirus type 2, canine influenza virus and bordetella. Of these, the distemper, parainfluenza and adenovirus vaccines are part of the core vaccines that most veterinarians administer. The bordetella vaccination is typically reserved for dogs at significant risk, such as those who frequent kennels, doggie daycare and the groomers. Currently, the canine influenza vaccine is typically done only in areas where there have been significant outbreaks or for dogs who travel a lot and might go to an outbreak area.
It is important to remember that the vaccines do not prevent infection or prevent a dog from spreading one of the pathogens. However, vaccines do decrease the duration and severity of illness. The one exception is the canine distemper vaccine, which does actually help prevent a dog from being infected. Because of this, along with the negative characteristics of canine distemper , many veterinarians recommend that dogs be vaccinated for distemper at an early age and be given boosters throughout their lives.
Vaccinations also do not take effect immediately, since it takes time for the dogs immune system to respond to the vaccine and develop protection. Depending on the pathogen and the vaccine type, this process can take two weeks or longer.
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Efficacy Of Doxycycline For Kennel Cough
Doxycycline is available in the form of a liquid, pill, or capsule and effectively treats the kennel cough bacteria, Bordetella. Doxycycline is one of the most used and trusted antibiotics by veterinarians in shelter settings and privates practices.
There are some conflicting beliefs on whether antibiotics like doxycycline should be used to treat kennel cough preemptively or not.
Doxycycline falls within the tetracycline family of antibiotics. Tetracyclines are the most commonly prescribed type of antibiotics for treating kennel cough or Bordetella.
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