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Kennel Cough is considered to be both a common and contagious canine ailment, in today’s veterinary blog, a summary of symptoms and when to seek veterinary care.

It is considered to be a fairly common disease for dogs. Owners have described it as sounding as if something is stuck in their dog’s throat.When to seek veterinary care for your dog's kennel cough, Dr. Dan Hume, WestVet ER Chief “Kennel Cough” can be compared to a chest cold in humans—and there are times you may need to seek veterinary treatment. Dr. Dan Hume, WestVet ER Chief, offered the following information on what the disease consists of, and how vaccinations could benefit your pet:

Kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) is a contagious respiratory tract infection caused by the bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica. Concurrent viral and/or bacterial infections may be present as well.

After your dog is exposed, he/she may develop infection of the nasal passages and respiratory tract, typically leading to the development of a deep, hoarse cough. Oftentimes, there may be a productive retch (white foamy fluid) associated with the end of the coughing episode.

Kennel Cough is usually mild. Your dog may continue with normal activities; the disease will generally run its course and improve within a few weeks.

More severe cases could last longer and should be treated by your family veterinarian. Look for fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite as additional symptoms that indicate a more severe case. 

Some dogs may require treatment with antimicrobials and cough suppressants. A small proportion of dogs may develop bacterial pneumonia and require more extensive hospitalization and treatment.

Vaccination is very effective to either prevent the disease or lessen the severity of the clinical signs. The immunity to vaccination is short-lived therefore booster immunization is required to maintain a protective benefit.

If you are concerned that your pet is coughing extensively or has been ill for some time, it is always appropriate to consult your family veterinarian right away. If your veterinarian is unavailable, WestVet is open and able to address your concerns 24 hours a day. 

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