Canine cough is a highly infectious and transmissible upper respiratory infection of dogs. It was previously known as kennel cough with the misconception that it can only be caught by dogs boarding in kennels. However, canine cough can affect any dogs mixing with others i.e. in the local park, at the groomers, puppy classes etc.

Typically, dogs infected with canine cough present with a dry hacking cough that can last from 5 – 10 days and usually require veterinary attention. Other symptoms include reduced appetite, lethargy and a high temperature. Puppies, older dogs and dogs with underlying illnesses can be more seriously affected and can run the risk of developing bronchopneumonia or chronic bronchitis.

Dogs usually require a course of antibiotics and steroids to help with tracheal inflammation. Sometimes the vet will discuss chest x-rays to rule out any other causes of coughing. If you suspect your dog has canine cough and you are bringing them to the vet clinic, we ask that the patient remains in the car until the vet is ready for him/her. This is due to its highly infectious nature and to reduce the risk of spread to any other dogs in the clinic.

There are typically two infectious agents that cause canine cough:

  • Parainfluenza
  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica

It is important that we keep up to date yearly with vaccines. If your dog is going into kennels or you plan to do training classes or puppy classes, your pet will require the canine cough vaccine at least 3 weeks beforehand.

The vaccine can be given in 3 different ways:

  • Up the nose
  • Into the mouth
  • In injectable form

Each method is as effective as the other. For more information on canine cough please contact our companion veterinary team on 023 8841404 or 021 4772277.