Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, kennel cough is a highly contagious illness that affects the upper respiratory tract in dogs. It is caused by many viral and bacterial agents. The disease affects a vast majority of dogs in the US every year.
The symptoms for tracheobronchitis may range from dry cough, running nose to lethargy, fever, lack of appetite, pneumonia and in extreme cases even death.
Although the symptoms of kennel cough are quite conspicuous for reaching a definitive conclusion, the diagnostic techniques occasionally employed may entail bacterial cultures, viral isolation, and blood work.
The treatment for kennel cough depends on the severity of the disease. If it’s in the mild state, antibiotics may or may not be administered. Instead bronchodilators like aminophylline or cough suppressants may be used.
In more complicated cases, the dog is treated with antibiotics like doxycycline or trimethoprim-sulfa. However, there are many options available nowadays. Bronchodilators and even aerosol therapy can be used.
Under these circumstances it is advisable that you put a head collar or harness around your dog’s neck because pressure on the throat and trachea can worsen his cough.
However, the pertinent question here is can you prevent ‘kennel cough’? Yes of course you can by exercising little caution like keeping your pooches away from other dogs especially puppies and also by getting proper doses of vaccine administered. The kennels which are breeding grounds of bacteria should be properly disinfected and the contaminated pets should be isolated. Also those dealing with them should take adequate precautions.
Earlier humans were out of the ambit of this infection. But recent studies have found that children and adults with comprised immune systems are at an increased risk of developing the disease. So, just like pooches, human beings should also avoid coming into contact with infected animals.