Kennel cough is a very common respiratory condition, especially in puppies.
The fact remains that it can also affect adult dogs because of its high transmissibility.
If you notice a recalcitrant cough from your doggie, it is possible that he has this infection.
What are the symptoms of kennel cough and how to treat it naturally?
This is what we will see together in order to best manage this disease and restore vitality and good health to your dog very quickly.
What is kennel cough in dogs?
kennel cough also known as infectious tracheobronchitis or Bordetella cough is a very common infection of the upper respiratory tract in dogs.
It can be caused by bacteria or a virus.
It is triggered depending on the virus or bacteria involved, but the most frequent cause is the association of the Parainfluenza virus (CPIV) and Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria.
This condition is highly contagious and can be transmitted within 6 to 14 days after the first symptoms are reported.
Viruses and bacteria spread through the air through sneezing and coughing.
If a healthy dog inhales the aerosol of these respiratory secretions or comes into contact with an infected surface, he will always contract the disease.
The Bordetella bacteria are usually associated with a virus, which makes kennel cough multiple infections that can sometimes be complicated.
Signs of kennel cough in dogs
When a healthy dog starts coughing suddenly, the cause is most often a viral or bacterial infection along the lines of kennel cough.
He has a dry cough leading to vomiting due to pressure on the trachea or a spasmodic cough when excited or after an exercise.
A runny nose can be associated and an episode of fever may occur.
These symptoms usually show up 2-14 days after contracting the disease.
The dog still remains alert and continues to eat and drink normally.
More serious cases show a lethargic dog losing his appetite.
Severe cases can lead to pneumonia.
They usually occur when the dog is immunocompromised or for a too young and fragile puppy.
Kennel cough diagnosis
The veterinarian makes the diagnosis by simply observing the symptoms presented by the dog.
Bacterial and viral cultures are undertaken and a blood test may be considered to identify the involved pathogen.
The set thus defines which bacteria and viruses are the sources of the infection.
Sometimes X-rays are needed to assess lung status.
Kennel cough treatment
Most cases of tracheobronchitis in dogs can recover without treatment.
It is therefore not recommended to treat systematically and antibiotics are not a curtailed illness guarantee.
Many vets now prefer to let the dog recover on its own, naturally.
From kennel cough to pneumonia
It is possible for an episode of canine bordetella to turn into pneumonia but these are rare cases.
If you find that your dog does not recover within a week or if the cough and general condition worsen, it is safest to revisit your veterinarian.
Similarly, if your puppy is affected by a recalcitrant cough, it is important to ensure veterinary follow-up, especially if you notice a lack of appetite, breathing difficulties or if you notice an obvious lack of energy.
Kennel Cough vaccine
Most invested vets no longer recommend the kennel cough vaccine.
Many kennels, grooming salons, pet sitters, shelters, and even some veterinarians urge this vaccination but you have to understand that they just do so to protect themselves from possible liability.
The reality is that this vaccine is totally useless since it has no preventive action.
As we have just seen, kennel cough is a complex infection that combines bacteria and viruses.
In fact, a simple vaccine cannot protect against different pathogens in any way.
And whatever protection it might provide, it is eliminated in less than a year, which requires annual vaccination.
If you have no choice but to vaccinate your dog to gain access to certain places, ask your veterinarian intranasal vaccine (kennel cough bordetella vaccine) which is less toxic than the traditional injectable vaccine.
In any case, remember that this vaccine will not prevent your dog from getting kennel cough and that strengthening his immune system naturally remains the best option.
How to deal with kennel cough?
Take off his collar
A dog with kennel cough often has a very sensitive trachea.
A simple collar can trigger a coughing fit.
For this reason, it is not recommended to leave it on during an episode of this disease.
Prefer the harness to avoid pressure on the throat.
Moisten the air
To ease him, you can use an air humidifier (#ad).
Moisture helps soothe a cough and may even make it go away.
If you don’t have a humidifier, you can also take your dog to the bathroom and let the hot water run.
This breathed moisture will relieve the respiratory tract quickly.
Do this two to three times a day.
Natural remedies kennel cough
If your dog has a kennel cough but does not change his behavior, is still just as alert, and eats and drinks normally, some natural remedies can help him.
A natural antibiotic
Colloidal silver is a little-known natural antibiotic that is nevertheless extremely effective.
Just give a tablespoon of 10ppm colloidal silver (#ad) two to three times a day to offer real protection against viruses and bacteria.
I invite you to read our post dedicated to colloidal silver which is as effective on humans as on animals.
Honey for kennel cough
A simple teaspoon of honey per 22 pounds of weight two to three times a day is a real benefit.
Honey will work by coating the throat to protect it and its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties will really relieve cough and irritation.
Choose instead dark honey that contains its best virtues, the thyme honey (#ad) is best for upper respiratory tract infections.
Dandelion leaves or more conveniently the dandelion tincture (#ad) has very interesting diuretic properties to treat kennel cough.
It will therefore help to eliminate toxins and at the same time, it excels in treating laryngitis, bronchitis, or all kinds of coughs.
The recommended dosage is one milliliter per 22 pounds body weight twice a day.
An Oregano solution (#ad) is highly recommended if you notice your dog’s kennel cough signs starting to get worse or going on a bit too long.
Oregano has antitussive and expectorant properties that will relieve throat irritation while combining antibacterial properties that will help your dog to overcome the infection.
The recommended dosage is a half milliliter per 22 pounds of body weight, taken twice a day.
How to treat kennel cough?
On its own, kennel cough is not a very serious condition.
It is difficult to treat because it is a viral and bacterial combination, but it usually evolves positively and rapidly.
However, it sometimes gets worse or lasts a little too long, which is why it is sometimes better to introduce certain natural remedies.
Although stubborn, you will manage to resolve this condition in a few weeks and your dog will be back to full health.
Frequently Asked Questions
How did my dog get kennel cough?
Most cases of kennel cough are found in dogs that live in crowded, poorly ventilated places where unrenewed air is too hot.
The most suitable places are those of close proximity such as kennels, grooming salons, pet stores, breeding, daycare centers, training courses, agility, exhibitions, etc.
How long does kennel cough last?
The cough lasts on average between 10 to 20 days and can reappear in times of stress.
Full recovery usually occurs within three weeks, but illness may last much longer in an older or immunocompromised dog.
Similarly, a puppy recovers more slowly.
Can humans catch kennel cough?
This respiratory disease is not transmitted to humans.
The involved bacteria (Bordetella bronchiseptica or Pseudonomas aeruginosa) and viruses (Parainfluenza virus and Adenovirus) are specific to certain animal species including dogs, cats, and rabbits.
Although the bacteria are closely related to the Bordetella pertussis family that causes whooping cough in humans, it nevertheless remains non-transferable.