Kennel Cough is a general term used to describe a highly contagious canine illness which can be caused by a wide variety of airborne bacterial and viral infections. Known medically as tracheobronchitis, it is the inflammation of the airways that connect the dog’s lungs to its throat and mouth. Symptoms are a dry coughing or hacking which is sometimes accompanied by nasal discharge, or fever. If the infection is not identified and treated, it can cause pneumonia by spreading to the lungs of the dog. The term Kennel Cough was given to describe the rapid rate at which the illness can spread in close confines, such as that of a dog kennel. Viral infections such as canine parainfluenza or canine distemper, as well as bacterial infections such as bordetella, are all highly contagious illnesses that can cause Kennel Cough, and be spread through the coughing and sneezing of infected dogs.
Treatment of Kennel Cough is similar to treatment of coughs and colds in humans. Antibiotics can be administered to fight bacterial infections. If no phlegm is being expelled, making it a dry cough, a cough-suppressant can be used. Vaccines can be administered to help prevent against common types of infections. Many kennels will refuse to board a dog without documented proof of vaccination. It is also important that kennels keep their cages cleaned and disinfected. Keeping the kennel well ventilated can also help prevent a buildup of airborne bacteria and viruses. If symptoms of Kennel Cough are detected in a dog, it should be quarantined to prevent the spread of infection.
Here at CCK9, health and well-being is our top priority. Each and every one of our dogs has to be in perfect health and peak physical condition to perform the excercises in our protection dog training. Keeping our facility clean and disinfected is the single most important thing we do to prevent infection and disease. We also give all of our German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds routine medical checkups to ensure that they’re performing at their best.