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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > How You Can Prevent Kennel Cough In Your Pet

How You Can Prevent Kennel Cough in Your Pet

PetSmart Banfield, The Pet Hospital®

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The term "Kennel Cough" sounds just awful doesn't it? It's certainly no picnic for your pet. And dogs aren't the only ones who can suffer from it - cats can contract it too. Fortunately, there is a vaccine available.

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterial agent that, along with several viruses, contributes to Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis, or "Kennel Cough" disease.

This infection is very contagious between dogs and cats and can be transmitted through the air, especially in areas where there are many pets in close proximity, hence the name "Kennel Cough."

Tracheobronchitis is an infection of the trachea (windpipe) and lower respiratory passages, or bronchi. The disease may also affect the upper respiratory tract, causing a nasal or sinus infection. Occasionally, this disease can lead to pneumonia, especially in weakened or elderly Pets.

Common signs include:

  • Coughing, or a cough/gag/retch that may produce a small amount of saliva
  • Normal barking sounds may also be changed
  • The cough can be mild and occasional to constant, deep, and hacking.

Diagnosis is based on history, symptoms, examination findings, response to treatment, and sometimes blood tests or x-rays.

Treatment usually consists of antibiotic therapy. Cough suppressants, medications to expand the airways, and anti-inflammatories may be needed as well. For more information on treatment, please consult your vet or Banfield doctor.

If your pet is diagnosed and has prescribed medication:

  • Use all medications as prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Monitor your pet's progress carefully and have him/her rechecked as directed by your veterinarian.
  • Separate any ill pets from others. Use separate feeding, bedding, and rooming items.
  • Wash your hands after handling to reduce the chance of disease transmission.

Vaccination is the best prevention.

If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your Banfield hospital today. 

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