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Kennel Cough

What is kennel cough ?

Kennel cough is a upper respiratory infection caused by a virus. It is not life threatening but your dog
will keep you up at night coughing ! Most of the time kennel cough is accompanied by a secondary
bacterial infection. Bulldogs tend to cough up a " white foam " or have a dry cough with gagging at
the end of the cough.

How do they get kennel cough ?

Dogs can get kennel cough just about anywhere:
boarding kennels
veterinary clinics
dog shows
day care
If your neighbors dog has kennel cough your dog will also be exposed

How do you prevent it ?

There are 2 types of vaccinations for kennel cough:
intra- nasal
For bulldogs I will only give mine the injectable bordetella. I don't care for the intra-nasal bordetella
vaccination at all. I have had bulldogs get kennel cough from the intra-nasal vaccine, and there is
nothing worse than having multiple dogs with kennel cough ! The injectable bordetella should be
given every year, but I have found it doesn't provide protection for a year, more like 9 – 10 months.
So I have my dogs vaccinated every 6 months.

If my dog gets kennel cough what then ?

Since kennel cough is caused by a virus it will have to run its course, but the secondary bacterial
infection does need to be treated with antibiotics for 10 to 14 days. A cough suppressant to
control the cough is also given ( you don't want to stop the cough, just slow it down ) Most dogs
that get kennel cough will have a " sore throat " so they won't have a normal appetite. In rare cases
kennel cough can cause pneumonia, so if your dog isn't getting better a trip to your veterinarian
is in order to rule out pneumonia, which is life threatening ! Most of the time kennel cough will
cause a few sleepless nights for you and your dog, and will never amount to anything more than that.