What’s that Hacking – Could it be Kennel Cough?

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What’s that Hacking – Could it be Kennel Cough?

Has your pet been making weird noises lately? If one of those noises consists of a deep, throaty cough, you may want to seek veterinary care because kennel cough can be a very contagious disease when not treated and can evolve into something quite serious.

If your family is going out of town this summer, boarding your pet or keeping him or her with a family might be an option for you… For most dogs, they acquire kennel cough while boarding or in close proximity to other pets. Some of the peak times for boarding dogs include over the holidays and the summer months when many families are traveling.

While most kennels are very clean and require a set of kennel cough, Bordetella, vaccines, there still may be a pet that has come in contact with it that could spread quickly. Stress of a new environment, changes in the climate, exposure to new elements such as dust and sometimes smoke can all turn into a higher risk for pets to obtain the disease.

Symptoms

The most commonly recognized symptom of kennel cough is the deep cough. However, don’t confuse this cough with that of just having something caught in the throat or irritation. A kennel cough is deep, persistent and is oftentimes made worse by exercise or excitement. Sometimes it can even be combined with flu-like symptoms such as running noses, sneezing or lethargic behavior. Should your pet display any of the signs, call Butte Oroville Veterinary Hospital for an appointment.

Treatment

The good news is that especially when caught early, kennel cough is treatable. Unfortunately, when not caught early, you may have come in contact with other pets, further spreading the disease. Once you visit a veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment once confirmed, it’s best to keep your infected pet separate until the cough is 100 percent clear. Your vet will mostly likely prescribe special antibiotics to administer until your pet is in the clear – sometimes a cough medicine is also provided to keep your pet more comfortable while they heal. Once the treatment has started, most pet owners find their dogs are feeling much better in only 48 hours on medication.

Kennel cough is as painful for your dog to experience as it is for you to listen to. Should your dog start sounding like they are hacking up a lung – especially after coming into contact with other pets – we recommend visiting a veterinarian. At Butte Oroville, we also administer annual vaccines to help prevent your pet for contracting kennel cough. 

Posted Sunday, June 08, 2014