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What is Canine Cough?

Updated: Oct 22, 2019

Pooch feeling under the weather?

Canine Cough (also known as Kennel Cough) is a term loosely used to describe a complex of infections—both viral and bacterial—that causes inflammation of a dog’s voice box and windpipe. It’s a form of bronchitis and is similar to a chest cold in humans. Though it usually clears up on its own, Canine Cough is highly contagious to other dogs. The Bordetella vaccine only covers the Bordetella strains, and changes often (6 months or annual boosters to stay on top of it). Because it is similar to the vaccine for the human flu and has limited coverage, it is recommended, but not required for attendance at Positive Pooches. Vaccinated dogs can still get Canine Cough. Generally those most at risk for Canine Cough are young dogs, or dogs with compromised immune systems. In rare cases Canine Cough can turn into pneumonia or other serious illness.

Canine Cough can be picked up anywhere an ill dog has been. Many dogs shed the virus or bacteria for several days before symptoms appear. It is transmitted the same way a human cold is transmitted - water droplets in the air from coughing, sharing a water bowl, or from playing with other dogs who might be ill. This can make it difficult to predict where the original source came from. While surfaces are sanitized daily, we cannot prevent all airborne particles from blowing around. We do have fresh airflow through the building, which is our best defense from Canine Cough.

Symptoms include: A persistent dry cough with a “honking” sound is the main clue your dog’s caught Canine Cough. In most cases, she’ll appear healthy except for the cough. Her appetite and activity level usually won't change, but don’t be alarmed if she gags and coughs up a white, foamy phlegm—these signs are often worse after exercise, or if she’s excited or pulls against her collar. Some dogs may also develop a fever and nasal discharge.

Canine Cough typically diminishes over 3 weeks. If you do not see signs of improvement within 1 week, contact your veterinarian. Serious cases of Canine Cough can lead to pneumonia.

If your dog is showing any symptoms, please do not bring them to daycare!

Dogs exhibiting signs of Canine Cough need to be isolated to prevent further spread of the virus. Any dogs coughing at daycare will be separated immediately and you will be called to pick them up ASAP. Cough suppressants and antimicrobials might be prescribed by the vet to speed healing. In most cases, Canine Cough clears on its own; similar to the human flu or cold.

Before returning to Positive Pooches, your dog must be symptom free for at least 1 week. Give us a call if your dog has started coughing so we can save your reservations until your dog is healthy again.



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