Kennel Cough or Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease is a highly contagious airway infection that is rarely life threatening but does make dogs feel lethargic and have a hoarse “honking” cough for 1- 3 weeks.
The infection is spread via airborne particles from another dog. There are vaccine options already widely used that will reduce the likelihood of a dog contracting infection and reduce severity of symptoms. However much like with Covid, reducing exposure and “social distancing” plays a massive part in reducing further transmission.
Prevention for Farm Dogs
We have recently seen Kennel Cough spread through dog teams on farm, because the incubation period for infection is variable it can take several months before all dogs have been exposed and/or infected which can have a massive impact on stock work. Any symptomatic dogs must be isolated and rested.
Prevention for Pet Owners
Avoid your pet interacting with strange dogs and ensure their Kennel Cough vaccinations are up to date, especially if they are at High Risk of Exposure or are more likely to develop more serious kennel cough symptoms eg. young puppies, older dogs and dogs with underlying health conditions.
Kennel Cough Symptoms
Most affected dogs will develop a persistent hacking cough that can sound like something is stuck in their throat or like the “honk” of a goose.
Other symptoms include:
- Runny eyes and or nose
- Retching/Gagging – white foaming surfactant is often brought up
- Vomiting – the explosive cough response can cause this
- Secondary Pneumonia – displayed as shortness of breath
Please contact us immediately if you are concerned your dog has severe symptoms and may need medical management or hospitalisation i.e. prolonged lethargy, shortness of breath or inability to keep food and water down for over 24 hours.
Your Vet Services Team