Kennel Cough: How Serious is It?

Fort Lauderdale Pet Sitter Kennel CoughYou have probably heard about Kennel Cough but it seems that many people aren’t really sure what exactly it is and what the dangers are. If you are in that category, keep reading to learn more about Kennel Cough and how to help your pet if he contracts it.
Kennel Cough is a combination of viral and bacterial infections which ultimately result in the inflammation of the dog’s windpipe and voice box. It is likened to our human version of a chest cold. It is highly contagious. Dogs that spend time in groomers, boarding facilities and shelters are at a serious risk of contracting this illness.
Kennel Cough spreads through a variety of methods:

How is kennel cough spread?

  • Dog to dog. One dog touching or coming in contact with the other.
  • Drinking from the same water bowl.
  • Airborne. If the ventilation is not good it lingers and will be breathed in.

While this is highly contagious and so easily spreads, it is normally not serious or life threatening. It can lead to pneumonia if not treated or worsen so keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • A honking dry cough
  • Slight fever
  • Changes in eating habits

Treatments are simple. Your vet will put your dog on a detailed health plan. Kennel Cough will, in most cases, clear up on its own with some simple care. Normal time for this illness to linger can be three weeks. Those dogs that are elderly, young puppies and/or immune system impaired may have a tougher time battling this and can see it sticking around for up to six weeks.

You can help your pet battle Kennel Cough and heal faster by:

  • Keep your dog isolated
  • Try a humidifier or vaporizer. Even allow them to come into the bathroom while you shower as the steam is said to help ease the irritation in   breathing passages
  • Ask Vet about a cough suppressant
  • Use a harness instead of a collar to alleviate any pressure on the already ailing windpipe
  • Ensure they are eating a good diet. Try boiled chicken and rice. Ensure your dog doesn’t have allergies first
  • Proved a calming, loving environment. No stress. This will allow them to rest and heal faster

If your dog is not improving see the vet immediately to ensure it is not heading into pneumonia. You should keep in close contact with your vet either way just ensuring that your pet is healing according to expectations.

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