Kennelhoste – Kennel Cough

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Kennelhoste – Kennel Cough

Background:

Kennel cough, or bordetella bronchiseptica, is caused by a pattern of viral and bacterial infections. This disease most commonly affects dogs in a kennel situation. Although the disease is usually self-limiting and will subside on its own, puppies and immuno-compromised adult dogs are at risk of developing pneumonia. The duration of the kennel cough infection can last up to a few weeks.

Clinical Signs:

The most common clinical sign of kennel cough is a harsh, dry, hacking cough. In some dogs, this cough is accompanied by vomiting (usually phlegm only), decreased appetite and depression. If a secondary bacterial infection is present, a nasal discharge may also be evident.

Diagnosis:

Your veterinarian can diagnose kennel cough based on a physical examination and a history of exposure. In cases where there has been no evidence of exposure, your veterinarian may recommend x-rays or blood work to rule out other causes of coughing.

Treatment:

In mild cases, your veterinarian may recommend only that the pet be kept in a warm, slightly humid and draft-free environment. It is wise for your pet to avoid undue stress or excitement. Avoid any collars and leashes which place pressure on the trachea and can aggravate the cough. In more severe cases, such as those exhibiting a nasal discharge, antibiotics may be necessary. Occasionally, veterinarians may prescribe antitussives for dogs that cough incessantly and cannot rest or eat.

Although an intranasal vaccine is available for use, it is not customarily prescribed by all vets. This vaccine is recommended for pets which are routinely kenneled, or which are to be showed or boarded. The duration of the protective effect is debated.

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