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Kennel Cough

7812 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  LuvMyChiwawas
hey i just wanted to let you guys know about this virus that can be deadly to small breeds, and even large breed dogs if not caught soon enough. By the way this article is curtosy of

Canine infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in dogs. Fortunately, the majority of cases are not serious resolving on their own in 1 to 2 weeks . But because some dogs develop life- threatening complications, you should take precautions to prevent your pooch from becoming infected with this highly contagious disease.

Kennel cough can be caused by a number of different airborne bacteria (such as Bordetella bronchiseptica) and viruses (such as canine parainfluenza) or a mycoplasma (an organism somewhere between a virus and a bacteria). Typically, more than one of these pathogens (disease-causing agents) must bombard the dog at once to trigger illness. Such a multifaceted attack is most likely to occur when a dog spends time in close quarters with many other dogs. Dogs that attend dog shows, travel frequently, or stay at kennels have a higher risk of developing kennel cough than do dogs that stay at home most of the time.

The primary sign of kennel cough is a dry- sounding, spasmodic cough caused by pathogens that induce inflammation of the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi (air passages into the lungs). At the end of a coughing spell, a dog will often retch and cough up a white foamy discharge. Some dogs also develop conjunctivitis (inflammation of the membrane lining the eyelids), rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane), and a nasal discharge. Affected dogs usually remain active and alert and continue to eat well. But if you suspect your dog has kennel cough, isolate it from other dogs and call your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian can typically diagnose kennel cough from a physical exam and history. The cough is very characteristic and can be easily elicited by massaging the dog's larynx or trachea But if the dog is depressed; feverish; expelling a thick yellow or green discharge from its nose; or making abnormal lung sounds, your veterinarian may want to perform diagnostic tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) chest x-ray, and laboratory analysis of the microorganisms inhabiting your dog's airways. These tests can help determine whether the dog has developed pneumonia or another infectious illness such as canine distemper.

Immunization can be an important part of a kennel- cough prevention program and is recommended . But since the illness is caused by multiple organisms - making effective immunization difficult - you should focus on minimizing your dog's exposure to the disease-causing organisms themselves. Don't share your dog's toys or food and water bowls with unfamiliar dogs. And if your dog is in an indoor kennel or show, make sure the indoor area is adequately ventilated so airborne organisms are transferred outside.

If your dog is diagnosed with kennel cough, your veterinarian will likely prescribe an antibiotic to help prevent any secondary bacterial infection and a cough suppressant. We have found in those persistent cases of kennel cough, the use of a relatively new antibiotic, azithromycin, to be effective. This medication is very effective in the treatment of the mycoplasmal forms of tracheobronchitis. Again, before any treatment regimen administered, is it is imperative that a proper veterinary examination and appropriate diagnostics be performed.
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I had a big argument with Lily's daycare owner about a month ago. She doesn't feel the vaccination is worth the risk because it only protects them from 3 of the bacteria and I guess there are like 17 that can cause it? My vet feels that Lily is at high risk because she's at doggy daycare 5 days a week and she has a heart murmur. If she were to contract kennel cough the symptoms would be much worse for her. I opted for getting the vaccination but it was a tough decision.
it is probably better you did, my black lab had a terrible case of kennel cough and was in critical condition.. so it can kill and is very harmful and spreads easy.. most people don't know a lot about it and i know the pets store we got him from made it seem like it is no big i figured i should let people that don't know about it to learn more, to know what it can do and the symptoms..
oh k you whats crazy ,i've never hurd of this untill i went away a week ago and i had to find a kennel to put my chi's in. when the lady told me she couldn't take them b/c there not up on all there shots. i didn't under stand b/c my vet NEVER has said anything about this shot! and if this helps save your dog then i think we should be told about it . so i guess if i dind't go away i would have never known.

but thanks for posting this i learned more :wave:
Yep, it is not normally mentioned by a vet unless the owner brings it up. If you are planning on boarding your pet, you usually have to request the vaccination. Only reason I have known about it is because I used to be an animal caregiver and dealt with the vaccinations a time or two. :)
well i am glad i could help, i almost lost my baby jamie from this, and i don't want anyone else to have to have it happen and not realizwe anythigns wrong.. so i am glad you all found it helpful..
Yep that happened two both of my chis a week later from when i got them they both got kennel cough.Pearl got it less hard maybe cause she had no allergy problems.Good thing Princess was vaccinated otherwise i would had end up with two sick chis.I highly recommend it even when taking your chi to the vet,shopping,training and any place where other dogs are around remember not everyone cares for there chis like most chi lovers do.

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Roie said:
well i am glad i could help, i almost lost my baby jamie from this, and i don't want anyone else to have to have it happen and not realizwe anythigns wrong.. so i am glad you all found it helpful..
Now I'm reallllly glad I decided to get Lily vaccinated against kennel cough. I don't think my daycare owner realizes how serious it can be for a small breed, especially one with a heart murmur. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct and trust your vet.
yes, i mean i almost lost a LAB from this.. imagine the outcome with a chi,
he had a "cold" when we brought him home but we were told it would pass.. needless to say he developed a cough. We brought him to there vet (the one they reccomended and we got a discount at) and they gave us some medicine, the vet noticed jamies running (he kind of does like a bunny hop) and said he might have hip problems and that he wanted to do x rays in a few weeks when the cough was gone. Which we found strange seeing as the puppy was 12 weeks old and not even close to be fully developed yet!!! So we went home after the meds were done his cough was worse.. and he was very lathargic, we called the vet and said he was much worse he couldn't stand up or walk around he just layed there and coughed. They said well we don't know what you can do but you can't bring him here that dog is too sick and we can not have him here. Needless to say that did NOT by anymeans fly with me and my mom. So we brought him to our usual vet, VCA, they took him right in and diagnosed him with pnemonia, and was put in critical condition, the vet told me and mom she didn't think he would make it, but they would do all they could to have him pull through, after 2 days he finally started to get better!! And after a week we could bring him home. We told our vet about the hip x rays and she said absolutley not. she would not x ray him until bhe was 1.5 to 2 years old, especially a sick pup!! The pet store paid the vet bills, and even offered us another dog, but we wanted our jamie and that was that. So as you can see kennel cough can be a pretty big deal, please don't take it lightly, and if you bring your dog out to training, shopping, parks, (dog parks especcially) you should get the vaccination because kennel cough is highly contagious. I just do not want anyone to have to go through what we went through, and they don't have to, if they just get this vaccination.
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Thanks for the info.
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