Kennel Cough is more like the human cold in that it’s easy to catch and will go on its own with or without medicine but depends on the type of dog as well as its age and health. If a dog is fit and healthy then they will naturally shake kennel cough within a week but if you are always unsure and want an experts opinion then drop into your vet to get your dog checked out. To be honest you should always get your dog checked out to make sure that the virus is in fact kennel cough.
You can get your dog vaccinated against kennel cough but this doesn’t mean your dog won’t be susceptible to it, as they can catch a different strain of kennel cough. However, the vaccination will help to decrease the time and severity of kennel cough.
How is it passed on? – Well, it’s an air-borne virus but I see that dogs are more likely to get the virus if they play with or lick a dog with kennel cough.
How do you know if your dog has kennel cough? The first signs are generally where your dog is trying to hack something up like it has something stuck in its throat. Sometimes they will cough up phlegm which will be frothy and white.
Why is kennel cough so easy to pass on? The problem with kennel cough is that your dog can pass it on to other dogs before showing signs that it has it. This makes it so easy to pass on that once you realise your dog has caught it the damage has been done and any dogs it has come into contact with will most likely have it. The issue gets compounded through the fact that there is about a 5 day incubation period where the virus can be passed on but your dog won’t show any signs. This is why it spreads around so easily and is hard to pinpoint where the initial onset of the virus came from.
Who is more likely to get it? Puppies are more likely to get kennel cough as their immune system hasn’t fully developed instead of adult dogs who have a more robust immune system. It also seems that dogs that have contracted kennel cough don’t seem as susceptible to getting it compared to those that haven’t.
What should I do? Book to see your vet as they will check to see that it is kennel cough and will most likely administer a course of antibiotics for a few days to help your dog along. Make sure your dog is still eating and drinking as normal and is still its usual playful self and not showing signs of being different from its normal daily routine. If you see that the coughing is not subsiding or your dog is losing its appetite as well as being more lethargic then I would book in to see your local vet to get them to take a look.