ASSA Forum

    Kennel Cough

    Andrew Gersbach

    Posts : 159
    Join date : 2009-11-16
    Age : 46
    Location : Bywong

    Kennel Cough

    Post by Andrew Gersbach on Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:17 am

    It seems that Kennel Cough is rife through the dog world at the moment!

    Absolute care should be taken as it is a highly contagious airborne virus. We picked it up at Goldseekers and it took 2 weeks to show any signs of infection in the first dog and we are now at dog 5. Incubation can take up to 3 weeks!

    ### Kennel Cough Symptoms ###

    Kennel cough is not usually a serious condition, but can be very irritating for your dog, and in some cases can develop into a more serious disease. If your dog is showing any of the following symptoms, it’s important to take him to the vet for a visit right away. (or administer your home based remedies as listed below)

    The Cough

    Kennel Cough can almost sound like a honking noise at times. It’s a persistent dry hacking that sounds like your dog is going to vomit. It’s common for your dog to cough many times in succession with the final cough looking and sounding like your dog is trying to hack something out. This is very uncomfortable for your pet, and can put a big strain on it’s body if it’s not treated right away.


    Most dogs will still want to be active regardless of their cough. However, if you notice that the cough gets worse every time they go for a run, it’s most likely kennel cough, and is best to limit their exercise until all symptoms of the cough are gone. It may be hard to deny your pets the exercise they look forward to everyday, but rest is is much more important in this situation so they can recover as quickly as possible.

    Hacking up Foamy Liquid and Phlegm

    It’s very common for dogs with kennel cough to hack up phlegm, the same way humans do when we have the flu. It is also possible that they may throw up liquid and foam. If they eat their food or drink their water too quickly, they may puke up their dinner and phlegmy water due to an irritated throat. Some dogs won’t cough anything up during kennel cough, but are still suffering from a painful and uncomfortable throat (respiratory tract) disease that should be treated right away.

    Depression and Sickness

    Many dogs will remain happy and active during kennel cough, however depending on the length and severity of the disease it may start to wear your pet down. It’s extremely important to monitor your dog closely if they start acting out of the norm. If they begin showing signs of sickness and/or depression for more than a day or two they should be brought to a vet immediately. Other less obvious kennel cough symptoms might include a loss in appetite, redness around the eyes, and/or a runny nose.

    Kennel cough does not usually last long, however in series cases it can last up to a few months. As a pet owner it is your responsibility to identify your dogs condition and care for it accordingly. The quicker you catch these symptoms, the faster you can treat this disease. Please note that kennel cough is extremely contagious so it’s best not to let your dog near other animals until it has fully recovered.

    ### Kennel Cough Treatment ###

    There are several ways of treating a dog with kennel cough. While some prefer prescribed medication, others prefer natural remedies to treat kennel cough. Either way, it's important to take your dog to the vet for a professional opinion as soon as possible to ensure your dog gets the right treatment. The kennel cough treatments below are what you can generally expect to be recommended from a veterinarian.

    Kennel Cough Vaccine

    While some vets may recommend the kennel cough vaccine (Bordetella) in the form of a shot or inhalant, it’s important to know that it does not work 100% of the time. In some cases it has even been known to trigger kennel cough. This type of treatment is recommended for those that spend a lot of time around other dogs, such as show dogs, or dogs who go to doggy day care often.


    Just like the human flu, bacteria and viruses are the most common elements behind kennel cough and as such, can often be treated with prescribed medication. There are several types of antibiotics to treat kennel cough, most of them coming in the form of a pill or liquid. Your vet will prescribe the best medication suited for your dog based on its symptoms, age, and weight.

    Cough Suppressants

    You can get cough suppressants to treat your dogs kennel cough which can be helpful if they are up coughing all night. This will help sooth their throat and keep them from coughing. There are many over the counter cough suppressants, but it’s always a good idea to check with your vet first. They can better recommend the best solution and dosage for your pet. Note - it is important to avoid the prolonged use of cough suppressants to ensure that they are not masking a more serious problem.

    Anti Inflammatories

    Your vet may prescribe anti inflammatories such as "terbutaline sulfate" if your dog is having a hard time breathing due to the cough. Anti inflammatories help open up the airwaves for your dog, and can be very effective in helping your dog breathe easier.

    ### Kennel Cough Home Remedies ###


    You can give your dogs vitamins to help them recover from kennel cough. Vitamin C is one of the most effective vitamins in helping humans recover from sicknesses such as the flu, or a cold and can also be given to dogs for bacterial and virus related conditions. The recommended dosage can vary depending on your dogs weight, but 500 mg or one tablet, two to three times a day is a common dosage.

    For dogs 2 years old and older you can try giving them pediatric robitussin. The recommended dosage is 4 times a day, for 5-7 days. If your pet is still experiencing kennel cough after a week, then it’s time for a trip to the vet.

    It’s very important for your dog to have and maintain a strong immune system, especially when dealing with a condition such as kennel cough. Echinacea helps strengthen your dogs immune system against bacteria and viruses and can be used until your dog has fully recovered.


    You can give your dog a little honey to sooth his/her throat. Many people find that this is a simple and effective remedy to help alleviate the cough. Just give your pet a teaspoon or two and the results should be quick. Chances are your dog will love the taste, and will be relieved from the cough.

    Keep the Air Moist

    It’s always best to keep the air moist when your pets are having throat problems. A humidifier or vaporizer can help your dogs throat from becoming too dry. Try to place it close to their bed or wherever “their place” is. Many portable air conditioners now days have “humidifier mode” so it might be an idea to check your user manual for instructions on how to activate it.

    Chicken Soup

    Yes, really. Chicken soup is one of the most effective remedies for kennel cough. It can be given to your dog to help soothe its throat and help boost it’s immune system.


    Hyssop is a herb that has literally been used for centuries to help alleviate irritated throats, mucous accumulations, and other all around respiratory issues. Hyssop is a healthy and effective herb to help your dog feel better, and can be purchased from any health or vitamin store.

    For Dry Cough
    Drosera is derived from sundew, and can be given to your pet if they have contracted kennel cough. It is most efficient against a dry cough.

    For Phlegmy Sounding Cough
    Dulcamara can be used if it sounds like your dog has a lot of phlegm in it’s chest or throat, but can’t get it out. You may also try firmly hitting your dogs lungs while it is coughing to help get the phlegm out. This is similar to hitting someone’s back while they are choking to help them get the food up.

    For Coughing with Phlegm
    Coccus can be used to help alleviate your dog if it is coughing and hacking up phlegm.



    Posts : 63
    Join date : 2010-01-21
    Age : 52
    Location : St Andrews, Victoria

    Re: Kennel Cough

    Post by jcsledda on Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:30 am

    Just another recommendation. If you are handlings dogs, other than your own, ensure that you disinfect your hands in a cleansing bath.

    Also, to all race organisers. Perhaps a hand wash bath at the start line, so as handlers can wash their hands after each time they may give a team assistance.

    Something small that may lessen the grief.

    Justin Celentane
    Snowpaw Alaskan Malamutes
    St Andrews Vic 3761

    Posts : 78
    Join date : 2009-12-10

    Re: Kennel Cough

    Post by Paddles on Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:00 am

    if the dogs have shown no symptoms, then unlikely that they caught kennel cough? my dogs are of course vaccinated against it, but I notice that 3 weeks will just be up this weekend. is there still a chance that my dogs caught it?

    Posts : 44
    Join date : 2009-11-17
    Age : 46
    Location : Bywong

    Re: Kennel Cough

    Post by idigadog on Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:11 am

    Our vet has said that it can be in the dog's system for up to 3 weeks before they show any symptoms. Doesn't matter if they are vaccinated or not, they can still get it.

    7 out of our 10 dogs are coughing. That means that 3 of ours could still be contagious but are not showing signs yet. Hopefully we will know by the end of this week as to whether the remaining dogs are sick.

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    Re: Kennel Cough

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