Canine kennel-cough is an upper respiratory tract infection that affects the nose, throat, and trachea. It’s also called infectious tracheobronchitis or Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex, and is as common in dogs as it is in humans. Kennel cough spreads between dogs in the same way as upper respiratory diseases are transmitted between people. There are many vaccines that can prevent or reduce kennel cough in dogs, but not as many that can protect humans from colds.
The causes of kennel cough
Kennel cough can be caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses. Although a dog can be infected by one of these pathogens, it is possible for kennel cough to spread to multiple organisms.
Kennel cough is caused by a dog that sneezes or coughs or rubs his nose against a kennel wall or human. Nancy Kerns. Photo
Bordetella pneumoniae is a bacteria that can cause kennel-cough. It can be the primary agent or secondary to a virus.
Mycoplasma, a bacteria found naturally in dogs’ respiratory tracts, is known as. It can cause clinical signs in dogs if it is present with another primary agent, such as B. bronchiseptica (or a virus).
Kennel cough can also be caused by viruses. These include canine adenovirus-2 (CAV-2), canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV), canine herpesvirus (CHV), and canine distemper virus (CDV). Canine coronavirus, which can cause kennel-cough in dogs, is not the same as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 among humans. Although the canine influenza viruses H3N2 or H3N8 are implicated in kennel-cough cases, they are not the same influenza viruses that cause seasonal influenza in humans.
Dogs can become ill from kennel cough if they are afflicted with one of the primary agents. These opportunistic bacteria include PseduomonasPasteurella, or the coliform class of bacteria.
Kennel cough can be spread through close contact with infected dogs, their respiratory secretions, and other dogs. The respiratory secretions are aerosolized drops from coughing, sneezing, saliva, or nose discharge. They can be left on surfaces such as walls, floors, ceilings, bowls, blankets and clothes. It is easy to spread between dogs who attend doggie daycare, dog parks, groomers, training classes, or doggie daycare.
The incubation period is the same as for humans with the common cold. Dogs may shed one of the organisms that causes kennel cough, but not show signs of illness. This is known as the incubation time. The length of the incubation period can vary from organism to organism. It can be as short or as long as 14 days.
It is vital to vaccinate against kennel cough
You can reduce your risk of getting kennel cough by making sure that your dog has been properly vaccinated. Vaccines can be obtained for B. bronchiseptica (CAV-2, CPiV and CDV), as well as both canine influenza strains.
There are three types of vaccine available for B. bronchiseptica: injectable, intranasal, and oral. You can either use the intranasal vaccine to protect against B. bronchiseptica alone or combine it with the vaccine for CPiV. The vaccine is administered once and then it is boosted annually.
The vaccines for CDV, CAV-2 and canine parvovirus are combined. This vaccine is also known as the DAP vaccine (for Distemper, Adenovirus and Parvovirus). This vaccine also includes CPiV. The combination vaccine is administered every two to four week to puppies from six weeks old to sixteen weeks old. It is boosted one year after the last dose, and every three years thereafter.
The canine influenza vaccine offers some protection against both strains of influenza that have been detected in the United States. The vaccine is administered in a two-dose series, two to four weeks apart. It is then boosted annually.
Remember that vaccines are not always 100% effective. Even if your dog is fully vaccinated, it’s still possible for them to get kennel-cough. Your dog’s illness may be caused by an organism they have not been vaccinated against. This will make their recovery times shorter and more manageable.
Other prevention strategies
We cannot live in a bubble that protects us from respiratory illness. There are steps you can take to stop the spread of kennel-cough.
Ask your doggie daycare provider for information about infectious disease prevention protocols. Daycare providers that are reputable have a documented cleaning plan that is performed multiple times per day and includes deep cleanings at least once weekly. They also require proof that each person has been vaccinated. Before admitting a dog into the facility, they should speak with the dog’s parents about recent coughing and sneezing.
It is also possible to be proactive in setting up play dates for your doggie. Ask the dog’s owners about their dogs’ vaccinations and whether any of their pets have recently been ill. Kennel cough can also be transmitted to other dogs by respiratory secretions that remain in the dog’s lungs for up 14 days. You have the right to take care of your dog and change the date if you are unsure about the health of another dog.
It is impossible to determine if all dogs brought to dog parks have been vaccinated.
You should ensure that your dog is groomed at a facility with a documented cleaning procedure for tables, cages and grooming tools. It is possible to reduce your dog’s exposure by picking your dog up from the grooming facility after their spa treatment has ended.
Dog-friendly shopkeepers often leave water bowls outside their shops during the summer to keep dogs hydrated. This is a nice gesture but it can also spread bacteria that causes kennel cough. While you’re out, bring your own water bowl and water for your dog.
Although we cannot prevent every possible cause of kennel-cough, we can reduce their exposure to pathogens and the severity if they do become ill.
Whole Dog Journal: How to Prevent Kennel Crough.