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Vet Talk: Kennel Cough in Dogs

Posted July 6, 2016


Any coughing dog that comes into my clinic is a red alert—is it contagious, is it heart disease or neoplasia? It is important to isolate coughing dogs from other dogs until a diagnosis is made. One common diagnosis is kennel cough.

Kennel cough in dogs is a respiratory infection caused by bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza virus. These pathogens attack the cilia lining of the respiratory tract and cause inflammation of the upper airway. This irritation causes a cough and makes your dog susceptible to a secondary infection. This infection can occur anytime during the year, but most commonly in the summer months.

Kennel cough is extremely contagious. It spreads rapidly when dogs are kept in close contact, but can also spread if a dog greets an infected dog during a walk or drinks from a contaminated bowl at the dog park.

Any dog can get kennel cough, but puppies and unvaccinated dogs are at greater risk of contracting it. Symptoms develop 3-10 days after exposure to an infected animal.

Any persistent cough can be dangerous. See your veterinarian as soon as possible.

There are no specific tests for kennel cough, so your veterinarian will exclude other causes of non productive cough such as heart disease, fungal and parasitic infections such as heartworm disease, a collapsing trachea, and cancer.

Treatment depends on the severity of disease. In many cases, kennel cough is self-limiting. However, in some cases, it can be life threatening. Your veterinarian can determine the best course of action for treatment.

Western medication (such as antibiotics and cough suppressents) may be prescribed. Supplements can enhance healing and support the immune system. NHV Resp-Aide and NHV Stimmune are two supplements that I consistently use in respiratory disease, especially in infectious respiratory disease. These two natural supplements add immune support, and help in decreasing mucus production, easing congestion, and fighting infection.

Do you know a dog who is suffering from kennel cough? If you need any holistic advise for your pup, please feel free to contact me for an on-line consultation.

3 replies.

  1. Yetta says:

    *Worked for my husband.

    1. NHV Natural Pet Products says:

      *Hi Yetta, glad it worked for your husband. All our products are human-grade.

  2. Wilton says:

    *And yes, we also are one of those” that doesn’t vaccinate, we
    homeschool and seek holistic/homeopathic care for our household.

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