The Dangerous Effects of Kennel Cough

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The Dangerous Effects of Kennel Cough

by Randy Jones

Canine cough or Kennel Cough is actually bronchitis, characterized by a harsh, hacking cough. The disease is highly contagious, transmitted by air and wind currents contaminated by cough and sneeze droplets from infected canines. Kennel cough is actually a complex of infections, chief of which is Bordetella Bronchiseptice.

Bordetella is able to render the normal respiratory tracts safeguards against infections inoperable. It disables the immune cells that normally destroy bacteria. The incubation period is 2-14 days and is characterized by a non-productive hacking cough, and more complicated cases involve a greenish eye and nasal discharge, obvious breathing difficulties, and possibly pneumonia if left untreated.

Diagnosis is usually based on the clinical signs already given, wit possible x-rays to determine the extent of lung and airway restriction and a bacterial culture may be required in extreme cases to determine what other viruses, if any, are present before treatment can begin.

Treatment consists of an antibiotic therapy and cough suppressants if the coughing remains non-productive, as coughing can persist for up to three weeks after treatment with antibiotics. Injectable and intranasal vaccinations are available, with the intranasal being more effective, since it is applied directly to the respiratory system. It usually takes 4 days to generate an immune response after the intranasal vaccination, and vaccination is not useful in a dog that already has kennel cough.

In general, kennel cough is self-limiting and is only serious for very young puppies, especially if they have never been vaccinated and senior dogs that may have a weak immune system or already poor health. Annual vaccinations are the best prevention of this disease, but due to the many organisms involved, it may not give 100% protection. When in doubt always consult your Veterinarian as soon as possible.

Randy Jones and his partner Brent Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed On the site, customers can read articles about anything pets as well as shop for the latest dog collars, dog clothes, pet supplies and more for their best friend. Feel free to check out the site at

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