Is Tracheobronchitis (Canine Cough / Kennel Cough)
Kennel cough is a term loosely used to describe tracheobronchitis, 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. There is no true prevention of canine cough. Vaccines only cover several known strains and what makes this illness deceiving is that a dog can have the illness and NOT IMMEDIATELY show symptoms yet are HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS.
What Are the General Symptoms of Canine Cough?
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.
What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Canine Cough?
If you suspect your dog has canine cough, immediately isolate her from all other dogs and CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN. The next call should be to any pet facility that you have recently visited to make them aware. Most cases of Canine Cough are mild, and the dog will usually be just fine. Occasionally, your Vet may prescribe antibiotics and cough medicine. It is important to KEEP YOUR DOG AT HOME while he/she is recovering and do not expose to other dogs. This isolation should be for 2-3 weeks to ensure that the illness is completely gone. It is important to know that your dog will sound worse than he/she really is. Your dog is simply coughing no different than you and I would if dealing with congestion and not feeling well. View it as a “puppy cold”.
How Did My Dog Catch Canine Cough?
Dogs can catch canine cough in several ways. It can spread
through aerosols in the air, directly from dog to dog, or through germs on
contaminated objects. Canine cough is often spread in locations where your
dog may come into direct or in-direct contact with another dog such as a
boarding kennel or an animal shelter, for example, or through direct
contact while sitting in a vaccination clinic, training class, pet store,
dog park or dog-grooming facility. Since it is an airborne illness, some dogs
who have had no direct contact with another dog may still get the illness.
Kennel cough is so contagious that your pet might even catch
it from sharing a water dish at the dog park or by simply greeting another
What Does Bow-Wow Barn Do About Canine Cough?
The Bow-Wow Barn strongly recommends being vaccinated with the Bordatella vaccination, but having vaccinations does not GUARANTEE that your pet won't ever catch it, but it's the best approach.
We DO NOT SHARE any food or water dishes between dogs.
There are no communal water buckets. Each dog or family has
their own water bucket and our feeding bowls are disposable and NEVER re-used, unless your dog
requires a special bowl. Then dishes
are clean and sanitized per PACFA and Colorado State standards.
Staff is HYPER-VIGILANT to the signs of
Canine Cough and any pet showing symptoms will IMMEDIATELY be
isolated with proper notifications made to the owner and the Vet.
We use a line of cleaning / antibacterial / dis-infecting
products that are top of the line and strict cleaning policies
are in place to ensure that our facility is always clean. These
products are used on all kennel cleaning and floor mopping. We
take cleaning and health very important and go to great lengths and costs
to ensure your pet has a clean, healthy place to stay.
We require ANY dog recently
adopted/rescued/fostered or comes from an otherwise unknown location to
have a waiting period of 2 weeks and a vet visit to ensure the health of
the dog prior to receiving services with us. Additionally, any dog that has visited
another kennel or participated in a dog show will also have a 2 week
It is important to know that although we go above and beyond
to avoid any illnesses in our facility, some things are out of our
So, What Can You Do?
Ensure your pet is healthy prior to contact at any pet care
Avoid taking your pet into unprotected areas in which ill dogs may be located such as animal shelters, humane societies, or anywhere that unvaccinated pets may be located. Avoid adoption clinics and venues with your pet. These pets may not be healthy. Many reputable shelters will have "adoption" days at local pet stores and other well-travelled locations. Avoid taking your pet there.
Ensure your pet has been vaccinated according to your Veterinarian’s guidelines PRIOR to
boarding or daycare.
Look for signs that your pet may not feel well. Having
a COUGH OF ANY KIND, not eating, nasal discharge, fever, etc.
If you see ANY of
these signs, DO NOT BRING TO BOARDING OR DAYCARE. Seek council from
your Vet immediately.
When in doubt, CALL YOUR VET.