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 What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) is a high contagious respiratory disease of dogs. Most cases are mild, but some progress to severe pneumonia.
What is the cause?
Certain viruses and bacteria, alone or in combinations cause kennel cough. Bordatella bacteria, a parainfluenza-type virus, and two types of adenovirus are the most important causative agents.
How is it transmitted?
It is transmitted in a similar manner to the common cold. The airborne agents that cause kennel cough spread easily from one dog to another in conditions of close confinement, such as at training sessions, or in boarding kennels. Stress can lower resistance to this disease.
What are the symptoms?
A persistent, dry, cough is the most common complaint. Sometimes, there may be discharge from the eyes and nose as well.
What is the treatment?
Therapy consists of medications to relieve the cough, steroids to decrease inflammation and antibiotics to control the bacterial infection.
How can kennel cough be prevented?
There is a vaccination against kennel cough. There are two components to the vaccine, a bacterial and a viral component. Although you can vaccinate your pet against kennel cough alone, it is recommended that you vaccinate it at the same time as the annual booster of distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus. The Vaccination that includes the kennel cough is known as the C4, or C5 depending on whether you choose to vaccinate against both the viral and bacterial components of the disease, or whether you vaccinate against the viral component alone.