Pet First Aid for Pet Professionals Level 3 (VTQ)

176 videos, 8 hours and 34 minutes

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Coughing and kennel cough

Video 142 of 176
2 min 33 sec
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Kennel Cough in Dogs

Understanding Kennel Cough

Kennel cough isn't the only cause of coughing in dogs. Learn the facts:

The Contagious Nature of Kennel Cough

Kennel cough spreads rapidly in confined spaces, such as kennels. Vaccination is sometimes required for dogs before kennelling to prevent outbreaks.

Key Points:

  • Kennel cough is highly contagious and earned its name for its rapid spread.
  • Transmission can occur through direct contact, close air contact, or indirectly via shared items.
  • The incubation period is 2 to 14 days, making it challenging to detect early.

Recognizing Kennel Cough

Look for these signs if you suspect kennel cough:

  • Hacking, dry cough
  • Worsening with exercise and excitement
  • Loss of energy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Occasional runny nose

Note: Kennel cough is typically not serious but can lead to complications like pneumonia if untreated.

Treatment and Prevention

Manage kennel cough through vaccination and treatment:

  • Vaccination: Preventative measures include vaccinating your dog.
  • Treatment: If infected, your vet may prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and cough suppressants. Rest is crucial.
  • Natural Remedies: Consider natural remedies like honey and vitamins to aid recovery.

Other Possible Causes of Coughing

Don't rule out other conditions when your dog coughs:

  • Collapsing trachea
  • Heart problems
  • Pneumonia
  • Inhaled substances or dust
  • Tonsillitis
  • Lung tumours
  • Fungal infections
  • Lungworm or heartworm
  • A sore throat
  • Respiratory tract tumours
  • Bronchitis
  • Food or water aspiration
  • Pressure from a tight collar

Your vet will conduct specific tests, such as chest x-rays or lung examinations, based on the suspected issue.

Deciphering Different Coughs

Different cough sounds may indicate different problems:

  • Collapsing trachea: Resembles a goose honking
  • Heart problems: Prolonged nighttime cough with reluctance to lay on the chest
  • Pneumonia: Loose, bubbling cough due to lung fluid
  • Tonsillitis and sore throats: Gagging cough with excessive swallowing and lip-licking

Monitor the frequency and nature of your dog's cough and consult your vet for the most suitable course of action.