Kennel cough is caused by various airborne bacteria and viruses the most common being Bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza, it affects the respiratory system and just like the human cold it is easily transmitted. Kennel cough spreads by direct contact between dogs, in the air and on surfaces (such as food bowls and leads) and can stay in the environment for several weeks.
Dogs are most at risk of contracting kennel cough in places where lots of dogs gather i.e. kennels, go out with a dog walker, puppy or agility classes or dogs that meet lots of other dogs in the park.
Symptoms include: a dry, hacking cough, retching – often resulting in vomiting. In more severe cases, it can cause symptoms such as a high temperature or a reduced appetite.
Call your practice for advice if you think your dog has kennel cough. A lot of dogs with kennel cough need medication to treat their symptoms and will recover within 1-3 weeks.
Your dog will be very contagious whilst they are poorly and will continue to be so for 2-3 weeks after their symptoms have cleared. During this time, it is important to keep them away from other dogs and public spaces so as not to spread the disease.
We recommend that all dogs have an annual Kennel Cough vaccination as well as the normal annual booster as this will provide protection for a full 12 months.
It is usually mandatory to have your dog vaccinated against kennel cough when boarding them in a commercial kennel or doggy day care centre. A separate vaccine is given to protect against kennel cough is given intra-nasally (up the nose).
Yearly booster vaccinations are important for maintaining your dog’s antibody protection against these nasty diseases. A booster includes a full health check with the vet where you will be able to discuss any concerns you may have about your dog’s health or behaviour.