Articles

The published articles below contain information pertaining to kennel cough in dogs and other pets.

What is Kennel Cough? Published by Chris

Kennel cough in dogs is a very common subject these days, but really what is it? Kennel cough is actually similar to the human cold, in that the more dogs that are in contact and interacting with each other, the better chance that they will contract the cough. It’s also similar to the human flu in that it is caused when your dogs immune system is assaulted by a combination of bacteria and viruses at the same time.

Kennel cough is more accurately referred to by vets as canine cough syndrome, which can be caused by infections , anatomical irregularities, or environmental irritants. We’ll talk about these in more detail below.

Infections

While there are several different types of infection that can be contracted by your dog and lead to respiratory problems, there three main ones to look out for. The most common infections that lead to canine cough are:

Bordetella Broncheseptica - This is a small bacteria which can cause infectious bronchitis in dogs, and other small animals. It has a different effect depending on which animal it contracts it. In dogs it generally results in a severe cough.

Canine Adenovirus - This is a DNA virus which can cause serious respiratory diseases. In dogs, this can commonly cause hepatitis and canine cough (kennel cough).

Canine Influenza - A respiratory infection in dogs. Canine influenza is caused by a virus and is extremely contagious, which means your dog has a much greater chance of contracting this if he/she frequents dog parks often. This infection can have mild or severe effects on your dog, and so it is important to bring them to see the vet for a proper diagnosis as soon you see any irregular behavior from your dog.

Anatomical Irregularities

These are abnormalities relating to the bodily structure of your dog. The main irregularities that can contribute to kennel cough include:

Collapsing Trachea - The main reasons the trachea of your dog can collapses are due to its cartilagenous rings not growing properly, or becoming weakened. With a collapsed trachea, your dog will have problems breathing correctly, especially when exercising or excited. This is because the tracheal rings can not fully hold the trachea open and allow air to pass through.

Tracheal Stenosis - this is an irregular narrowing or contraction of your dogs trachea. The trachea is literally your dogs windpipe, and so if it is too narrow to function properly, your dog will have problems breathing properly.

Environmental Irritants

Since the bacteria that causes kennel cough is airborne, it can be assumed that closed environments with several dogs can up the chances of your dog catching the cough. However, there are also many other environmental irritants which could trigger a cough in your dog including:

  • Allergies
  • Fertilizers
  • Reactions to certain substances
  • Stress
  • Unsanitary environment

Although kennel cough is generally a non-serious disease, and should be easily managed medically, it’s important to bring your dog in to a vet if the cough is still present after 2 days. A proper assessment needs to be made on your dog as canine cough is not a single disease process.