What You Need To Know About Dog Kennel Cough

We all like to go on holiday but if you are travelling abroad you cannot take your dogs with you so you choose a good kennel but what do you know about Kennel Cough, PDSA vet Sean Wensley speaks about Dog Kennel Cough and how to spot if you dog has it or not.

It is the time of year when many of our four-legged friends go into boarding kennels whilst we are on holiday. With lots of dogs in a relatively small space, kennels can be the perfect breeding ground for infections such as Kennel Cough. PDSA is here to tell you more about this common illness and how you can help protect your dog.

Kennel Cough is a highly infectious respiratory disease which causes inflammation of the trachea (windpipe) and upper airways. It can be caused by several different bacteria and viruses acting together, but the bug most often linked to the disease is a bacterium called Bordetella bronchiseptica.   The various bugs can be easily passed from one dog to another, especially in enclosed spaces such as boarding kennels.

PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Sean Wensley says: Owners can often mistake Kennel Cough for something stuck in their dog’s throat. Signs of the disease, which typically develop shortly after a period of being in kennels, can include a dry cough, gagging, retching, lethargy and lack of appetite.

If your dog shows any of these signs you should make an appointment to see your vet without delay. There are other possible causes of these signs, but in case your dog does have Kennel Cough you should keep them away from other dogs to prevent the disease from spreading.

The best way of protecting your dog from Kennel Cough is to get them vaccinated before they go in to boarding kennels. Many well-run boarding kennels will insist on this anyway. Kennel Cough isn’t one of your dog’s routine vaccinations, so you will need to make an appointment to have the vaccine administered.

Some dogs may still catch Kennel Cough despite being vaccinated, but the signs in these dogs are typically milder and your dog will suffer less.

Before booking your dog in to boarding kennels, you should also visit the kennels to ensure they look clean, hygienic and well maintained. A hygienic environment will also reduce the chance of your dog picking up infections.

For more information on pet health or to download a free copy of PDSA’s Vaccinations leaflet go to www.pdsa.org.uk/leaflets.