Q. My new puppy is coughing a lot and I think it is Kennel Cough. Could it be?
DANA KOCH, VMD, MLAS
A. Kennel Cough is similar to the human cold, and it can be caused by three categories of microorganisms.
1. Bordetella Bronchiseptica: A small bacteria which can result in bronchitis and severe cough in dogs.
2. Canine Adenovirus: A serious and contagious virus.
3. Canine Influenza Virus: An extremely contagious virus causing mild to severe respiratory symptoms in dogs.
Kennel Cough has its own course of 1 to 3 weeks and can be managed medically.
Close environments with several dogs can increase the chance of dogs catching the cough. Kennel Cough vaccination is aimed mostly at preventing the Bordetella infection through an inhalant or injection vaccination. Although not 100% effective, it should be recommended in all dogs that spend time around other dogs, even the park is considered one of these social occasions.
Kennels have their own policy with regards to Kennel Cough vaccinations and should always be contacted well ahead to understand and comply with their requirements before the stay of your dog.
If you suspect that your dog has caught Kennel Cough, you should see your veterinarian. Your dog might benefit from certain medications to speed up his recovery. These might include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and cough suppressants at your vet's discretion.