The Kennels Cough
Have you ever wondered if your dog can catch your flu? Or do you doubt what happens to your pet that coughs very hard and often? In this article we will tell you about canine infectious tracheobronchitis, or kennel cough. We will explain what it is, how it is spread, the symptoms and the treatment to follow.
Did I Give My Dog The Flu?
First of all, we must clarify something. The flu of humans and the flu of dogs are NOT the same. Therefore, we should not fear the risk of infecting our dogs.
Its real name is Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis, but it is commonly known as kennel cough. This is so, because this pathology was observed in kennels, where many dogs lived together.
Today it is not exclusive to that area. By having more pets and sharing these many environments, it can be spread across several places.
Kennel cough is transmitted from dog to dog. Generally, when we see the symptoms, it is because our dog got infected about 5 days before we saw the symptoms. It may have been in the park, the club, a lodging, any place where we find canines.
For the most part, the it occurs among very young animals, since they do not yet have their defenses ready.
If our dogs are poorly fed, or in a place that is too cold. If they were under great stress or were exposed to tobacco smoke. All of these can cause the body to succumb to tracheobronchitis.
In that sense, it is very similar to our flu. And we must prevent it the same way we prevent getting the flu our selves.
Although we said that it can not be passed from dog to human, it is not convenient to expose immunodepressed people to a sick animal. It is not entirely ruled out that a respiratory condition due to kennel cough is possible.
What are the symptoms of canine infectious tracheobronchitis?
Firulais does not stop coughing. And on top of that he has vomited several times. What happens to my pet ?!
When we hear a very dry cough in our dog, and at the same time very strong, it can be the kennel cough. It is heard in a very characteristic way, the sound coming from the bottom of the animal. The cough is so strong that it is even accompanied by vomiting, due to the force exerted.
We will also see him very depressed, without strength, without desire to play. It is the flu that causes this decline in our pets attitude. A characteristic symptom is a lack of appetite. This is due to fever and lack of strength.
Another symptom that we can see at first sight is secretions. These can be nasal, or even through the eyes.
We must deal with it immediately. Although it is very unlikely that a dog dies of kennel cough, it can lead to pneumonia or bronchitis. And that can be fatal.
These symptoms we are talking about can last for 3 or 7 days. We do not have to let it advance, but take it to the vet so that it does not have serious consequences.
Its duration in the body depends a lot on the pathogen that caused it. Because Tracheobronchitis occurs with the help of various viral agents.
It can be Parainfluenza, canine adenovirus type 2, that attack the animal’s respiratory system. Then, bacteria such as Bordetella bronchiseptica enter, what they do is further complicate the situation with an infection. However, there have been cases in which the cause was only the bacteria. Or even the virus that causes canine distemper.
So we cannot know how long the total causative elimination will last until we determine what it was. There may be treatments that last up to 3 months.
Then, the best thing will be to prevent its contagion, and thus avoid having to resort to treatment.
How is the treatment?
Canine infectious tracheobronchitis is a self-limiting disease. That is, generally the dog comes out of the disease alone, because it has a beginning and an end.
But also, since bacterial infections can occur due to injuries that occur in the respiratory system, it must be treated with antibiotics.
At the beginning, when there is only inflammation of the throat, with an anti-inflammatory we are fine. But then it may be necessary to use an antibiotic to fight the infection and avoid fever.
Always, it goes without saying, what we have to do is take it to a vet. He will tell us what to do.
It is necessary that we isolate our puppy, in some room of the house. Because otherwise we could make this disease spread among neighborhood dogs.
Another important thing is that even if they don’t have an appetite, we give them water. We have to make sure that he eats enough not to get dehydrated. This will help them deal with cough symptoms.
Can we prevent kennel cough?
The best method to prevent tracheobronchitis is vaccination. In the same way as our flu, that we are vaccinated does not mean that our pet cannot contract the disease. But symptoms will always be milder if you are immunized than if you are not.
The vaccine is usually given before the onset of the coldest season. But if we are about to travel, or will be in contact with many animals, it should be given at any time of the year. It is enough to have it two weeks before the change of environment.
And while there is an annual vaccine, there is also a vaccine treatment every six months. Always follow the advice of your vet about it. Because he knows what is appropriate for each animal, according to its age and disposition.
There are races, especially brachycephalics (flat noses), which must be taken care of more careful with respiratory diseases. They tend to suffer of respiratory diseases more easily than other dogs.
Another super necessary thing for prevention is hygiene and good nutrition. If our dog is well fed, it will have the necessary defenses to avoid falling ill. If the environment where it moves is sanitized, it is more difficult for pathogens to be present.
We also recommend that you clear any doubts you have with your vet. He will tell you what to do, depending on the need of you special friend.