If you see your dog coughing, retching, sneezing, or snorting consistently, then kennel cough may be present. Kennel cough is one of the most common ailments in dogs, affecting millions of them each year around the world.
What is Kennel Cough in Dogs?
This is a virus that may have elements of a bacteria that affects a dog's upper respiratory system that results in prolonged coughing. Left untreated, this will generally run its course in 10 to 20 days depending on the immune system of the dog.
It is not a serious condition and will not have any long term effects on the health of the dog, unless they are very old, sickly or if they are still a pup. Dogs with weak immune systems can allow this illness to develop into pneumonia which will require medical treatment.
What Causes Kennel Cough In Dogs?
It is basically a virus with perpendicular elements of bacterial infection which affects the upper respiratory systems in dogs. The result is a rough 10 to 20 days of coughing, sneezing, and snorting from the dog until the infection passes.
This combination of virus and bacteria is highly contagious to dogs as it is passed in a number of ways. When a dog comes into contact with or breathes in the breath of an infected dog, then it catches this infection. Also, if the virus and bacteria are present on surfaces, the dog can catch kennel cough from that as well. This is why dogs that are kept together in closed environments such as kennels can so readily catch this illness.
Prevention is rather straightforward which starts with not allowing the dog to be present with other dogs in such a closed-in environment. However, if that is not possible, then the next step is vaccination to prevent it. However, vaccinations are not 100% effective much like influenza vaccines in humans. This is because the sheer number of virus and bacteria combinations that cause kennel cough means that no vaccine can protect from all of them.
There are a number of ways to treat this infection as well. Many veterinarians will prescribe antibiotics to kill the virus and bacteria present in a dog. However, there are also a number of home remedies as well that can fight this particular ailment and help reduce the severity of this condition.
Astragalus and Vitamins C & E help boost the immune systems in dogs, allowing them to fight off the infection more readily. Furthermore, antiviral and antibacterial agents such as oregano oil, raw garlic and olive leaf can directly affect the infection itself, killing the virus and bacteria that is present.
Natural substances like raw honey and slippery elm can help soothe the dog's throat and help them to feel a little better. Plus, humidifying the room will help the dog breathe better as well. There are many things that can be done to help a dog suffering from kennel cough and make that time easier for them to bear.