What Every Dog Owner Should Know About Kennel Cough


If you're thinking of taking your dog to a grooming or boarding facility, then you need to be aware of a common disease that is often passed from dog to dog at such facilities: kennel cough. There is a kennel cough vaccine that your dog should receive before visiting such facility, but like all vaccines, it is not 100% effective. It's important that, as a dog owner, you still educate yourself about kennel cough in case your dog does end up developing this illness. Here's what you need to know:

Dogs do not develop symptoms immediately when they are exposed to kennel cough.

The incubation period for the disease is 2 to 14 days. This means that you could bring your dog home from the kennel, think he or she is just fine, and then note symptoms of kennel cough up to 2 weeks later.

This can sometimes make it tough to figure out where your dog picked up kennel cough, if he or she has visited multiple kennels or groomers over the last few weeks. Thus, it's important to call every facility your dog has visited in the 2 weeks prior to showing kennel cough symptoms to let them know your dog has become ill. If a facility gets many calls from other pet owners, then they will know they have an issue and can deal with it properly.

Not all dogs show the same symptoms.

Though most dogs develop a hacking, obviously serious cough when they catch kennel cough, a few develop higher-pitched, milder coughs. It's essential to take your dog to the vet for diagnosis no matter what the cough sounds like. Other symptoms of kennel cough, which sometimes appear before the actual cough, include:

  • Watery discharge from the nose
  • Lethargy or lack of energy
  • Retching; acting like he or she is going to vomit

Most dogs recover from the illness perfectly fine.

You've probably heard horror stories about a neighbor's dog who visited a kennel, got kennel cough, and died. Though this does happen from time to time (usually in very young, old, or immune-compromised dogs, it is not the norm. Most dogs recover from kennel cough completely within a few weeks. Some serious cases require treatment with antibiotics, while others do not require treatment at all, other than some tender love and care. It's best to take your dog to the vet whenever you suspect kennel cough, so he or she can recommend the best treatment based on the severity of your dog's illness.

For more information, contact Ark Veterinary Hospital or a similar location.


18 May 2015

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