How to Protect Your Dog From Kennel Cough

If your dog has a dry, unproductive cough, your veterinarian may recommend a cough suppressant, but many uncomplicated cases will resolve without medication. You should allow your dog to rest for 10 to 14 days, restricting activity (limit jumping, running, stairs and exertion). To prevent further irritation of the respiratory tract during recovery,you may want to use a halter instead of a collar. You should also make sure your dog continues to eat and drink normally.

In more severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infections and may even recommend hospitalization.

Even with treatment, it may take several days or more for the infection to run its course, somewhat like a common cold in humans.

An Ounce of Prevention

The core vaccines that are recommended for your dog include protection against some — but not all — of the viruses that can cause kennel cough. And a Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine, available in nasal, injectable or oral forms, can help protect against this common bacteria. Vaccine boosters are usually recommended once a year.If your dog frequents boarding kennels, dog shows or the groomer, your veterinarian may recommend that he receives this vaccine more often, usually every six months.

Of course, no vaccine can guarantee your dog won’t get kennel cough. But if he does come down with it, these vaccines may help reduce the severity of the disease. And if your dog is doing less loud hacking and honking, chances are, you’ll feel better, too.

More from Vetstreet:
Why Doesn’t My Dog… Get Frozen Paws?
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