Kennel cough is typically just a nuisance for you and your dog. however, there are instances in which it can become more severe. Pneumonia and other secondary infections may develop if it’s left untreated. Here are some ways that you can care for your dog when they have kennel cough.
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that causes inflammation in the upper airways of dogs. It is caused by the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium, which infects the trachea and bronchi.
The disease can be transmitted through contact with an infected dog or its aerosolized saliva and can spread quickly.
It is a very contagious illness.
How Do Dogs Get Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is most commonly contracted when dogs are in close contact with each other, such as in a kennel or shelter, boarding facilities, at the dog park, or when greeting unfamiliar dogs.
The Bordetella bacterium that causes kennel cough can spread through airborne droplets and direct contact between infected and non-infected dogs.
How is Kennel Cough Treated
Kennel cough treatment typically involves supportive care, medications, and rest.
Treatment will depend on the severity of your dog’s condition and the underlying cause of the infection.
In mild cases of kennel cough, antibiotics may not be necessary.
How You Can Help Your Dog with Kennel Cough
In addition to veterinary care, it is important that you provide your pup with plenty of rest, as this can help to reduce coughing and congestion.
Make sure your pup has a warm and comfortable place to sleep that is away from other pets or people, as kennel cough is highly contagious.
You should also be sure to limit the amount of exercise your pup gets until they are feeling better.
This will help reduce coughing fits and minimize the risk of pneumonia or other respiratory infections.
Use Prescribed Antibiotics
Your vet may prescribe your dog antibiotics in order to prevent secondary bacterial infections from developing.
This isn’t the standard course of treatment for dogs with kennel cough.
It’s only for those dogs that aren’t doing well coping with the illness.
If your dog is lethargic and refuses to eat or drink, you need to seek medical treatment right away.
Consider Using Cough Suppressants
For severe or persistent coughing fits in your dog, the vet may recommend using a cough suppressant.
This can ease some of the discomforts that your dog experiences while recovering.
Only use the cough suppressant that is prescribed by your vet.
The human varieties can make your dog even sicker.
Mix in a Spoonful of Honey
Honey is a more natural cough remedy for your dog.
Give your dog a spoonful of honey to ease some of the discomfit associated with their dry and scratchy throat.
Some dogs may be willing to take the honey straight.
Others may require that you mix it into some warm water.
You may need to do this up to three times a day until your dog has recovered from the kennel cough.
Invest in a Humidifier
Steam can be very beneficial to ease some of the irritation in the lungs associated with prolonged coughing.
You can purchase a humidifier to set up near your dog’s bed.
Another option is to encourage your dog to hang out in the bathroom while you’re taking a shower.
For more severe cases, consider putting your dog directly into the shower with you.
Look into Vaccines
Vaccinations can help to prevent some of the causes of kennel cough.
This doesn’t mean that it will completely prevent your dog from contracting kennel cough.
Clinics like Sylvan Corners Pet Hospital can provide you with the vaccines before you decide to board your dog with them.
Restrict your dog’s activity level until they have fully recovered.
You don’t want them to experience a setback in the healing process.
Another thing to do is to make sure that your dog is well-hydrated and rested.