Kennel cough is caused by a various combination of bacteria and viruses, most commonly the Parainfluenza virus, Adenovirus and Bordetella bronchiseptica the latter being a bacteria. The medical name for this disease is acute tracheobronchitis.
Dogs will commonly pick up the infection after contact with an infected dog as it is very infectious. Time from infection to signs of disease actually depends on the bug that caused the infection. This varies from 2-5 days to up to 2 weeks.
The symptoms will include a dry hacking cough, sometimes with gagging as if trying to be sick. The dog is usually well and eating and drinking normally.
The infection is particularly easy to catch when lots of dogs are kept together e.g. in a boarding kennels or at dog shows, or where many dogs are walked together in the same airspace.
If your dog is going into kennels soon it would be worth considering protecting him/her with a specific vaccine against kennel cough. This is applied as intranasal drops and must be done at least 5 days before entry to the kennels.
Your annual booster will protect your dog against Parainfluenza virus but remember vaccines are designed to reduce the chance of contracting a disease or to lessen the signs if the disease is caught, and are not therefore 100% guaranteed to protect your dog fully. Vaccines may also contain different strains of virus than the current outbreak, so always take care not to walk our dog with others that may be infected and talk to us straight away if they start showing signs.
If you are worried at all about kennel cough in your area or would like your dog vaccinated, please ring and speak to us.