Does your dog have a cold? Vet, Richard Ringuette, tells you all about kennel cough and ways of stopping its spread.
Does your dog have a cold?
Your dog (or more rarely, your cat) can cough… just like humans. Your dog could have contracted the cough from other dogs. This is a contagious condition transmitted in the air and by respiration. Does your dog cough? Have they lost their appetite? Do they have a runny nose?
This “cold” is usually referred to as kennel cough, because a kennel is exactly and usually the type of environment where this condition is found and transmitted. If your dog is regularly groomed professionally, is in training, in daycare, or is often in dog parks, they can easily pick up this illness. “Contact in parks is common,” says Dr. Richard Ringuette, from the Grande Allée Veterinary Hospital in Mascouche. “As soon as one dog starts coughing, another is contaminated. This is why it’s so important to protect your pet from strange dogs.”
Coughing causes inflammation of the trachea and the bronchial passages. Is it serious? Generally, no. In adult dogs, we simply let the cough take its course and it eventually clears up on is own, usually in about ten to fifteen days. In some cases, however, an infection attaches itself to the cough. “That’s when we have to use antibiotics to treat the additional infection, but we try to avoid that,” specifies Dr. Ringuette. So it just makes sense to check out a persistent cough.
Just like humans, young and older dogs are both at risk because their immune system is more fragile. Preventive vaccinations are strongly recommended, especially if the animal is boarded while the owner is away.
In areas where the illness is easily spread, such as obedience schools, vaccinating your dog before registering is often mandatory.
If your pet is not vaccinated, you will be advised to consult with your vet. In the meantime, avoid taking your pet to an area where they come into contact with other dogs.