How to treat a kennel cough in dogs?
Kennel cough is a term loosely used to describe a complex of infections (both viral and bacterial) that causes inflammation of a dog’s upper respiratory system (voice box and windpipe). It’s a form of bronchitis and is similar to a chest cold in humans.
Though it usually clears up on its own, kennel cough is highly contagious to other dogs as being an air borne virus can be carried in aerosol droplets from the discharge of an infected animals sneeze or cough or via direct contact with another animal. Remember that the best way to protect your dog is by vaccinating it! Most kennels will not board dogs without proof of vaccination.
Symptoms and Treatment
When you notice a persistent dry cough with a ‘honking’ sound in your dog and you suspect your pet has kennel cough, you should immediately isolate your pet from all other dogs and call your veterinarian. Antibiotics are given to treat any bacterial infection present. In some cases, you may be advised to simply let kennel cough run its course and just keep on isolating your dog from other puppies. Then you can apply some simple treatments: a humidifier or vaporizer to provide some relief, avoid exposing your dog to irritating fumes (cigarette smoke), making sure your dog eats, drinks and gets better.
In most cases, it takes from three to six weeks (or more for young puppies, elderly dogs) for kennel cough to disappear and though there are no symptoms, your dog might stay infectious for longer periods of time.
Without treatment, kennel cough can escalate into a very serious infection or even pneumonia.