What is a kennel cough?
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.
A persistent dry cough with a ‘honking’ sound , in most cases, your dog will appear healthy: its appetite and activity level does not change usually (there is no reason to worry weather your dog gags and coughs up a white foamy phlegm as these signs are often worse after exercise or when it is excited or pulls against its collar). Some dogs might develop a fever and nasal discharge. Kennel cough can produce a number of symptoms including a dry, hacking cough, gagging responses, sneezing, and when the virus progresses can result in fever, nasal discharge and the coughing up of mucus.
What to do
If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, immediately isolate your pet from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.