It is that time of year and I have come across a couple of cases of Kennel Cough. Here is some information for a quick diagnosis and treatment.
It is a extremely contagious respiratory disease in dogs. It most commonly occurs where groups of dogs are congregated together, such as doggie day-cares, pet shops, veterinary hospitals, grooming parlors, parks, shelters, and kennels. If untreated it can become serious and even lead to pneumonia, especially in young puppies. An interesting fact is that Kennel cough can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or mycoplasmas, or a combination of the three, so in cases of a viral infection antibiotics will not ¨cure¨ the cough. The biggest thing that antibiotics do is keep it from worsening.
Kennel cough is characterized by a dry, hacking cough in the later stages or a dog clearing its throat in the earlier stages, it is often followed by gagging. Coughing can be induced when the dog becomes excited or exercises.
If you think your dog has kennel cough, isolate it from other animals and visit your vet. Kennel cough is easily spread through aerosols in the air, contact with other dogs. contact with contaminated surfaces, such as the ground, toys, water and sidewalks.
Treatment is with antibiotics, rest and warmth, as in human flu. There are also available, natural therapies to support your dog.