Kennel cough, dog flu, or canine infectious tracheobronchitis

Kennel cough, canine infectious tracheobronchitis or commonly called dog flu is a disease of the respiratory system that affects dogs of any age and is very common where there are large dog populations such as kindergartens, shelters, veterinary clinics, etc. The infection is located in the upper part of the respiratory system, it is highly contagious since it is transmitted by air through coughing and sneezing or by direct contact (clothes, utensils, personnel) and has very mild symptoms so it does not usually present complications . Its name is due to the fact that it is more common in shelters or kennels where it spreads very quickly at times due to overcrowding, lack of ventilation and poor hygiene.

Although it is very rare, it can also be spread to humans by air and direct contact, developing a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract with symptoms very similar to normal flu.

Kennel cough is caused by several types of bacteria or viruses, therefore it is very difficult for a vaccine against any of the viruses that cause it to be effective, so the most recommended is the intranasal vaccine (consult a trusted veterinarian to more information).

Symptoms of kennel cough

The primary symptom is dry and spasmodic cough that is caused by pathogens that cause inflammation of the trachea and bronchial tubes, we may notice that the dog coughs as if he had something stuck in his throat. The dog will often arch its body and cough up a white frothy discharge after a coughing fit. Some will develop conjunctivitis, rhinitis, and a nasal discharge that can sometimes be purulent.

In winter, the multiplication of cases of canine infectious tracheobronchitis is very frequent, so try to dry your dog very well after bathing him and do not take him out for a walk on cold nights.

This type of persistent cough tends to become more acute with the use of the collar or when our dog is agitated. During the night is when the dry and persistent cough becomes more evident which makes us unable to sleep if we are in the same room with our dog. Remember to wrap your pet very well at night to avoid complicating this type of condition.

The symptoms usually last a couple of weeks or so, but it depends a lot on the immune status of the animal. Some do not need treatment and the cough disappears in a few days without the need to attend the vet since these dogs are active and eat normally. Precautions are often made for puppies , elderly dogs , and dogs with very low defenses as they can develop complications such as pneumonia.

Kennel cough or dog flu can be prevented with an intranasal vaccine annually . If you suspect that your dog has kennel cough, isolate him from other dogs and take him to the vet in case you see him down. The doctor will probably recommend good nutrition, hygiene (periodically disinfect the place where our pet spends most of the time) and general care, he may also recommend antitussives (drug to treat dry cough), a preventive treatment in case of secondary bacterial infection and treatment with bronchodilators. It is very important that our pet is resting as long as possible, avoiding stressful situations and sheltering it when it is cold.

This disease is very common which makes it very easy to spread if your pet is in contact with another dog which is infected and / or has been in one of the places that are sources of contagion, as it is a bit difficult to avoid infection, it is recommended that our dog receive good nutrition so that his defenses help him in case he suffers from kennel cough.

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Sherry Fluharty, is an Activist, animal activist, community manager, and blogger at Tom Cat Wiki in order to make people aware of the responsible ownership of pets. And in charge of writing content and responsible for the project.