How to handle kennel cough in Dogs.
The case of a dog constantly having a cough-like attack was reported last week, the dog owner was so scared when she found out her pet was acting choked and it didn't sit well with her at all. This situation is not a rare one as several pet owners have constantly reported cases of their dog having a choking cough, it can be managed and handled, let's dive a little deeper into what could make a dog give a cough-like symptom.
It is called generally termed as Kennel cough, but medically known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, it is a contagious, common airway infection that happens to dogs, it is more common in areas where dogs are in close contact, the primary symptom of this infection is its dry, hacking cough in dogs, although several bacteria and viruses can give similar symptoms, they are all just generally referred to as kennel cough since they have similar symptoms.
Kennel cough basically affects the respiratory system, making the dog cough consistently, it becomes very clear that your dog has kennel cough when it starts to show signs of a hacking and forceful cough which will make it appear that your dog has something stuck in his/her throat. The cough could be a hoarse and dry one which in some cases is followed by a gag, displayed ability to swallow, or the production of mucus. In most cases, a dog with kennel cough will still look healthy asides from the disturbing cough but in some cases, the dog will also have other associated symptoms like eye discharge, runny nose, or sneezing.
The most disturbing aspect of kennel cough is the nuisance it constitutes, having your dog make consistent choking sounds could be embarrassing and disturbing to the ears, it may not be dangerous and in some cases, it would not even lead to any type of extra symptom, but in puppies, little dogs or dogs who have an existing case of an illness, the condition may turn into a very serious one and even grow into pneumonia, we must also not forget to mention that, the type of germs and virus will determine the severity of the infection.
Kennel cough is a highly contagious airborne that can spread very quickly amongst kennels, it can likewise be transmitted with the bacteria on food bowls, toys, and other objects shared among the pets
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a major cause of canine infectious tracheobronchitis, it is a highly contagious respiratory disease of dogs. B.bronchiseptica infection is not restricted to dogs alone, there are other species of animals that can get infected like cats, rodents, and even pigs. Dogs have a slow immune response to B. bronchiseptica, even if they become resistant to reinfection once treatment is concluded, treatment of this infection is initiated 3 weeks after the first stage of infection.
It is only in extremely rare cases that humans get infected with kennel cough, but on a normal day, humans do not get caught in the infection trap of kennel cough. When humans get kennel cough, they begin to show symptoms like; persistent cough, difficulty while swallowing, breath shortness, sore throat, fever as well as other respiratory-related symptoms.
Within one or two weeks of rest, the feeling of kennel cough may go away and some vets may recommend, antibiotics, cough medicines, vaporizers, and nebulizers to help ease the symptom felt. There are also available vaccines that would protect the dog against major pathogens responsible for kennel cough, when these vaccines are taken earlier, it would reduce the likely possibility of your dog getting the infection.
We earlier established the fact that the possibility of humans contracting kennel cough is extremely low, as a matter of fact, it is almost impossible but it still happens in rare cases. When kennel cough affects humans, it would come with serious complications associated with pneumonia, we have the likes of;
Septic shock which happens when the chemicals floating from the original infection spreads to the blood, it can also result in a potentially life-threatening condition.
We also have lung abscesses, which are a collection of pus in lung cavities.
There is also pleural effusion occurring in a situation where pneumonia is not treated, it will result in a fluid build-up in the layers of tissues around the lungs which has the possibility of being infected.
There are situations where extreme cases of pneumonia may lead to serious respiratory failure.
Treatment for Kennel cough.
There is no special medication for treating kennel cough in dogs yet, the treatment, however, depends greatly on how sick the dog is. Most affected dogs will outgrow the condition, especially with careful support aimed at providing treatments to support the airways. Dogs who have serious illnesses may also take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications which will help reduce the feeling of fever and inflammation.
When the situation gets severe, the dog may need to get intensive support care, like oxygen supplementation. The spread of this disease can be limited by keeping dogs away from other dogs.
Since most cases of kennel cough would disappear on their own, simple home remedies will increase the chances of fast relief.
Add honey to warm water and have your dog take it as honey can be a smooth home remedy for kennel cough, it can help soothe the dog's throat and minimize coughing.
Placing a little humidifier close to your dog while they are resting, would help moisten the air your dog breathes and it will help with the irritation of the respiratory tract.
Allow your pet to get sufficient rest, during the recovery process, and limit exercise.
Are you worried about your dog showing signs of persistent cough? It may be kennel cough, which means it may either be a temporal feeling that would go away on its own, or you may have to visit a nearby veterinary doctor who will recommend medications that will ease the symptoms.