Infectious tracheobronchitis, commonly known as Kennel Cough or Canine cough, is a canine respiratory infection caused by a bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and Canine Parainfluenza Virus. These pathogens attack the lining of the respiratory tract and cause inflammation of the upper airway which, if left to progress, can evolve into more severe issues such as pneumonia.
Kennel Cough/Canine Cough causes symptoms of a dry, harsh, hacking cough. Infected dogs often appear well otherwise but have episodes of coughing, sometimes resulting in “bringing up” phlegm or froth at the end of a bout. It is not uncommon for owners to believe that their dog has a bone stuck in their throat and are sometimes taken to Emergency after hours because of this belief.
This disease is airborne, therefore your dog is not protected just because it doesn’t have direct contact with other dogs.
Dogs do not need to have been in kennels to contract this disease. A walk down the street or to the local park is all that is needed to contract it from interaction with, or even just a previous visit to the same area by, an infected dog.
It is a common misconception that kennel cough vaccines only protect against the viral aspect of the disease. Luckily the vaccination covers both the bacterial and viral elements of the infection. These antigens stimulate the body into protecting itself, creating antibodies that then fight and protect against infection in the future. This is why some dogs may appear to have mild symptoms of the disease a few days after the vaccination.
If your dog does contract kennel cough, we advise you make an appointment for a vet examination. As it is such an infectious disease, we do ask you to keep your dog in the car when you arrive. Many cases are mild and can be self-limiting, not requiring medications. Other, more severe cases may require a course of antibiotics to fight the Bordetella bacteria and anti-inflammatories to counteract the inflammation in the tissues of the windpipe. As the immune system strengthens, the body naturally fights off the viral infection. Remember to keep your pet isolated from other dogs until all symptoms have resolved fully.
It is best to get vaccinated early before entering the kennels to give the body time to create antibodies and grow an immunity. Normally, vaccinations should be given a minimum of two weeks before entering a kennel, but longer periods of time are recommended for best levels of protection.
However, the vaccination used at Greenfields Vet offers protection two days from administration. This is achieved through Intra-Oral vaccination, which is absorbed by the mucous membranes and can be given from 8 weeks of age.
With this method no follow up vaccinations are needed until the following year. This method can also be used for late vaccinations or adults who may have never been vaccinated before, offering full protection with no follow ups until the following year.
Please give us a call at any time on (08) 9581 7766 to book an appointment or discuss your vaccination needs.