What Is Kennel Cough?

  • 18/05/2014
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Kennel cough is an illness that dogs can suffer from. It is difficult to watch your friend suffer from it but it is usually not fatal. The symptoms, actually, can be confused with the flu. It can last up to several weeks and will sometimes clear up without medical help. However, the advice of a veterinarian is recommended if you have any questions about the health of your dog. Kennel cough can become very serious and can lead to pneumonia or be a sign of a serious medical issue.

Kennel cough can be caused by several viruses or bacterial infections or both. It gets its name from the persistent, hard cough that it causes and how easily it spreads to other dogs. Because dogs can't cover their mouths when they cough, the illness spreads rapidly. The afflicted area is the upper respiratory tract. This causes the harsh cough. Kennel cough can be the result of other diseases or disorders such as heart worm, allergies, and pneumonia. It can be caused by bacteria that forms within your dog or that he or she picks up through the air of from direct contact with another ill canine. Kennel cough can also be caused by a canine form of the flu and other viruses. When it is caused by a combination of virus and bacteria, it becomes a very serious illness.

It can take anywhere from three to ten days from when the dog contracts the illness to when symptoms begin to show up. This is known as the incubation period. Symptoms include sneezing, gagging, and hacking to go along with a watery nose. A dry cough that is very persistent and at times leads to vomiting is the tell-tale sign of kennel cough. Most dogs maintain their appetite and level of activity at first. If symptoms worsen, and pneumonia sets in, a fever, lack of appetite, and loss of energy can develop. This is a life-threatening condition for your friend and needs to be taken seriously.

Treatment of kennel cough can usually be handled at home. There is no outright cure and most cases clear up on their own in one to two weeks. Some cases will need the help of a veterinarian, however. There are some antibiotics that your vet may prescribe. Veterinarians will sometimes administer other treatments to help lessen the symptoms and make the dog more comfortable during recovery. You can give them a tablespoon of honey each day to help alleviate some of the discomfort that comes with constant coughing. Sometimes an electric humidifier can help and some veterinarians recommend using something like Vicks humidifiers that add treatments to the air to help with breathing.

Kennel cough is uncomfortable but doesn't have tot be fatal. Keep an eye on your don's symptoms and try to make sure your friend has access to plenty of water and gets a lot of sleep. Fluids and sleep are very important to the recovery process. If symptoms worsen or you have questions, don't hesitate to contact a qualified veterinarian.

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