Kennel Cough What is Kennel Cough and How to Prevent it Occurring

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Kennel Cough What is Kennel Cough and How to Prevent it Occurring

by Jean Morgan

Does your dog make hacking sounds that make it seem like something is caught in his or her throat? This may mean that your dog is suffering from kennel cough. Kennel cough is actually an inflammation of the upper respiratory system of your dog and is similar to a human's chest cold.

It is actually the umbrella term used for all types of dog cough that is caused by complex infections, some of which are canine distemper or Bordetella bronchiseptica.

Just like with humans, kennel cough has the potential to be contagious if the dog's immune system is weak or weakened by certain stimuli. There are certain stressors that inhibit or reduce your dog's ability to fight viral or bacterial infections that cause kennel cough. Avoiding these situations will save your dog from succumbing to the plight that kennel cough brings.

Some of the things that need to be avoided to ensure the continued health of your dog are shipping and crowding stress, exposure to heavy dust or cigarette smoke, and of course, exposure to bacterial and viral sources.

Usually, your dog's immune system can resist alien objects from forming infections in his or her respiratory tract. Unfortunately, the occurrence of kennel cough is brought about when the stressors mentioned above result in your dog's resistance to bacteria and viral infections being greatly threatened and diminished.

Your dog's way of naturally ridding his respiratory tract of bacteria and infections is through the tiny hairs that are connected to the tissues found along his or her respiratory tract. These tiny hairs are coated in mucus, which trap alien particles that get in through your dog's normal respiration.

Aside from preventing bacteria and viral infections to reach the tissue along the dog's respiratory tract, these tiny hairs called cilia are constantly undulating, which in turn causes alien particles to be expelled normally through the mouth or swallowed and digested by your dog. However, during instances when your dog's immune system is stressed and unable to function properly, or when your dog comes in contact with certain types of bacteria, like the Bordetella bronchiseptica, he then will succumb to kennel cough.

To prevent your dog from having kennel cough, you should make sure that his vaccinations are current, especially when certain stressors cannot be avoided. Actually, even if you do not foresee your dog being subjected to stressors that will make him susceptible to kennel cough, you should update his vaccinations anyway; especially his vaccination for Bordetella bronchiseptica, because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, even for your dog.

The best type of vaccination against kennel cough would be an intranasal administered vaccine. The more common type of vaccine is dispensed through an injection. However, the intranasal type of vaccine is better because if prevents bacterial and viral infections for a year, while the injectable type cannot prevent infections but in the event of one, it will work to lessen the gravity of its effect.

Remember that if your dog already has kennel cough that is caused by any virus or bacteria, you cannot use a vaccine to treat his ailment. You can only use vaccines for prevention. To treat and cure kennel cough, you can visit your veterinary doctor and ask him to prescribe certain antibiotics that are meant to treat whatever bacteria or viral infection that has caused your dog to have kennel cough. If needed, you can also ask your vet about cough suppressants to help alleviate your dog's suffering which can be taken in tandem with the antibiotics.

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