Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kennel Cough

At this time of year as people travel, at times dogs must be boarded or kept by friends. This gives the opportunity to catch kennel cough. Kennel cough is a type of bronchitis caused by a highly contagious virus that’s readily passed from dog to dog. (Cats don’t get this condition.) Kennel cough can be prevented by vaccination. Most kennels require dogs be immunized against the disease before checking in for the night. Never board your dog at a kennel that doesn’t require proof of immunization.

A simple trick vets use for distinguishing a simple cough from a possibly serious infection like kennel cough is this: Press gently on the front of the dog’s throat. She will go into a coughing spasm if she has kennel cough. The virus particularly likes to irritate the lining of the trachea. If your pet doesn’t have kennel cough, pressing gently on her throat probably won’t make her cough.

If the worst happens, and your dog does contract kennel cough, here are a few things you can do to help her feel better:

-Clear the air: For a pet with irritated airways, clean air is important. This means protecting your pet from fireplace or cigarette smoke or fumes from household cleaners.

-Put moisture in the air: Keeping humidity high will help tame the cough by soothing your dog's throat and airways. Running a humidifier or vaporizer or even taking your pet into the bathroom when you shower or bathe can give some temporary relief.

-Move her gently: When your dog is coughing and congested, taking a slow, gentle walk can help her airways drain. Avoid letting her get tired or overheated which can set off further bouts of coughing. It’s also a good idea to avoid choke chains and tight collars which can bring on a coughing spell.

-Keep her alone: Since kennel cough is contagious, you’ll want to keep the ’patient’ away from other dogs.

*These tips are home remedies only and should not ever be used as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your veterinarian. If your pet has a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical care.

Alice England


Pauline said...

Very informative, Dr. Alice :) so important to know these things.

AngelPups said...

Big Mac and Molly both had kennel cough when they came to me...they got the vet treatment but I didn't know any of this information! Great stuff to know~hope I don't need it again ;-) but if so, I'll be ready!
Thanks~ "Dr. Alice" ;-)

Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

Alice, how did you get so smart. Great post. Thank you.

Three Wishes Collective said...

great information! all the places around here require the vaccine before boarding your pet unless they've had one in the past 12 months.

Cody's Closet said...

Excellent advice!