All Creatures Veterinary Hospital

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital
4549 HW 62 West
Mountain Home, AR 72653
(870) 425-5175

Kennel Cough

Infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough, is a condition of dogs with results from inflammation of the upper airways. This condition is caused by a combination of a virus and a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica. Other bacteria can secondarily infect the dog leading to pneumonia if left untreated. The condition is very contagious from one dog to another and is common in kennels, boarding facilities, grooming shops, pet shops, and other places where many dogs are housed together or in contact with one another.

The typical symptom of kennel cough is a dry hacking cough, which may be followed by retching or gagging. Usually the dog is otherwise fine, except for possible a decreased appetite. Diagnosis is made by history of exposure, clinical signs, and response to treatment. The condition usually lasts for at least 10-20 days, but generally the cough begins to improve after one week. Antibiotics are often used to prevent development into pneumonia and cough suppressants can be used to help relieve coughing. Any dog with a cough that lasts longer than one month or is associated with severe lethargy, difficulty breathing, or unwillingness to eat should be examined by a veterinarian. Other tests may need to be performed to rule out more serious conditions.

There is a vaccination available to help prevent kennel cough. Because there are more than one agent involved in causing the condition, the vaccine is not 100% effective, but it does help reduce the chance of getting kennel cough. Vaccination is recommended every six months in any dog that stays at a boarding facility or kennel, visits a groomer, attends puppy classes or dog shows, or is around other dogs frequently. Current vaccination is required for any dog that is boarding at All Creatures.

If you have questions concerning kennel cough, please feel free to call our office at (870) 425-5175.