The importance of Vaccinations for Kennel Cough
Kennel cough is a term used to describe a contagious infectious cough affecting dogs. It is most commonly caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria and /or canine parainfluenza virus, although many other viruses, bacteria and mycoplasmas have occasionally been implicated in outbreaks.
A few of the infections which can cause kennel cough symptoms are included in your dog’s annual vaccinations. These infections are canine distemper, canine adenovirus type two and canine parainfluenza.
What does kennel cough sound like?
Kennel cough is a forceful hacking cough which is often described as like something is stuck in your dog’s throat. It’s generally a dry, hoarse cough, which can be followed with a gag, swallowing motion or even mucus. It can be sometimes mistaken for sneezing, a choking fit, retching or even gasping for breath.
What are the other symptoms?
Other symptoms your dog may suffer from are sneezing, a runny nose or discharge around the eyes.
How do dogs catch kennel cough?
Kennel cough is airborne and therefore very contagious. It can also be transmitted through contamination of food and water bowls, or mouthing toys or balls. Dogs with kennel cough generally have an incubation period of two to fourteen days. In some cases, some dogs can carry the infection for quite a few months without developing any of the symptoms.
Are there any treatments for kennel cough?
Many dogs will recover within three weeks without any treatment. However, sometimes the infection can last for up to six weeks. To help with recovery, ensure your home is ventilated and avoid using their collar and lead. This can often aggravate the dog’s windpipe, so harnesses are better to use when walking your dog. If your dog should require treatment then antibiotics can help kill the Bordetella bacteria, and reduce the period of bacterial shedding. In addition, cough suppressants and anti-inflammatories can also help make your dog more comfortable.
How to prevent Kennel cough
Protection against Bordetella bacteria and Parainfluenza virus can be given through nasal drops as a separate vaccination. As there are many different strains of infection, this cannot totally guarantee protection, however, it should lessen the symptoms. It is particularly useful in the face of an outbreak. The vaccination is not so useful in dogs which have recently had kennel cough.
The kennel cough vaccination can be given from the age of 3 weeks, but most dogs are vaccinated before kennelling or mixing with lots of dogs at Doggy Day Care Centres. offering protection for around 12 months. It is considered the quickest way of providing immunity and takes around three days to start to become effective for the Bordetella component.
Many boarding kennels, state that dogs staying with them must have the kennel cough vaccine.
Finally, if you have any concerns or questions regarding vaccinations for kennel cough or the symptoms. Please get in touch with our Veterinary Centre for further advice.
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