Kennel cough is an extremely contagious illness that can affect your canine pet. It technically called tracheobronchitis and affects the upper respiratory tract causing an inflammation. The disease is mainly caused by a viral infection like distemper, parainfluenza, or adenovirus but can also be caused by bacteria like Bordetella bronchiseptica.
The illness derives its name from the fact that the main symptom of the condition is a dry cough that sounds like a honk that gives the impression as if something is stuck in the throat. The word kennel has been given to the problem since it is highly infectious and can be spread easily in kennels and places that board dogs.
The virus or bacteria spreads through air and physical contact is not necessary and since the virus is air-borne, the virus can spread when an infected dog in the vicinity sneezes or coughs. And therefore, it is essential that the infected dog is isolated from all others. The reason why the disease becomes extremely rampant in any area that has even a single dog with the condition makes it almost impossible to contain. The symptoms of kennel cough appear about a few days after exposure and once contracted the disease will last for anywhere from 10 days to three weeks.
With the first signs of kennel cough should take your dog to a veterinarian to ascertain whether the cough that you are hearing is kennel cough or not. Understanding the symptoms and treatment for kennel cough therefore, becomes important. The vet will probably massage the trachea to induce some kind of cough so that he may be able to hear the sound and decide the best course of future action. The diagnosis is fairly simple and so is the treatment.
Kennel cough sorts itself out with a few weeks without having to do anything. It is not the kennel cough itself that is the cause of grave concern but the fact that it weakens the immune system and increases the probability of the bronchial infection. No dog dies of a coughing bout but it is important that the disease does not deteriorate to give your pet pneumonia or any other disease.
The best canine respiratory infection cure is to let kennel cough it run through its course without any cough suppressants. This is recommended because the removal of phlegm from the system is the fastest and best route to recovery. A cough suppressant shall only reduce cough causing the phlegm to remain in the system that will only lead to the kennel cough lasting longer.
If the condition deteriorates and develops into pneumonia or any other infectious illness, then antibiotics may become essential for treatment.