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Kennel Cough In Dogs


In today’s blog we will delve into the world of Kennel Cough in Asbury Park, NJ.  We will be exploring exposure, risks, and treatment options.  

Kennel Cough, also known as canine infectious disease complex (CIRD) is a very contagious combination of infectious agents, both viral and/or bacterial, infecting dogs and is similar to the human cold. It produces a dry hacking cough and dogs sometimes vomit up white foam. They often sound like something is stuck in their throat that won’t come up. Sneezing and eye discharge may also be seen.

As the name suggests, kennels and boarding facilities are common places where dogs are at higher risk, but any areas where dogs congregate – daycares, groomers, dog parks and beaches in Asbury Park and the Jersey Shore, even sidewalks in a busy pet neighborhood – are all vulnerable areas where dogs can become exposed.  Inanimate objects (fomites) such as toys or surfaces or direct contact with respiratory droplets can also become carriers. Time from exposure to symptoms (incubation period) can be a couple of days to a few weeks. Since kennel cough has multiple bacterial and viral pathogen causes. Vaccinating dogs against bordetella annually can help lessen the severity of this disease, but does not 100% prevent it.   

Multi-dog households may only have one symptomatic pet, but the second dog may still carry the virus or bacteria without showing signs. Since many kennel cough cases are self-limiting, not all dogs require treatment. Puppies and elderly pets are more at-risk for developing more serious symptoms and can even lead to pneumonia.  More severe cases can be started on an antibiotic, or even require hospitalization and oxygen therapy, if warranted. Cough suppressing medications are not always advised as they can reduce the body’s natural mechanisms to clear out the causative bacteria or virus. Please keep your pets away from other dogs for 3 weeks following exposure to kennel cough. 

If you think your pet may have kennel cough or any cough, please consult with your veterinarian for further information and care.  While CIRD is often very self-limiting, other causes of coughing in dogs are considered very serious and should be seen ASAP!

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