Since end of September I received information from several clients that their dogs have been infected with kennel cough.
The infection only triggers symptoms of a cold or respiratory infection, which can, however, be favored by wet and cold weather or drafts.
Signs of an infection include a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, loss of appetite and fatigue. In kennel cough, a dry, barking cough is classic, sometimes accompanied by regurgitation of white mucus. Less frequently, there is nasal discharge or, in very severe cases such as pneumonia, fever, labored breathing and a reduced general condition. Please got to your vet!
If your dog is infected, please follow your vet’s guidelines and
- do only short outings
- preferably in your area
- cancel dog school
The kennel cough
… includes a whole complex of infections of the respiratory system.
The causative agents…
…are different viruses (Parainfluenza 3, Canine Adenovirus 2 and others). These have been found in diseased dogs. Various bacteria usually settle in the pre-damaged tissues after viral infection. In contrast, a single bacterial species (Bordetella bronchiseptica) is pathogenic even in the absence of prior viral damage. This germ, by the way, is related to that of whooping cough in children, but is not contagious for them.
Dogs are infected…
…by the finest droplets. These droplets are the carriers and are excreted with exhaled air or when coughing. All of these pathogens are highly contagious.
…are basically all dogs. However, fewer complications are to be expected in adult dogs than in young dogs. The outbreak of a disease depends not only on the transmission of the pathogens but also on the conditions under which the dogs are kept. Thus, among other things, keeping many dogs in a confined space and frequently changing contacts promote the risk of infection.
The disease manifests itself…
…from light coughing up to heavy feverish pneumonia and also by deaths. However, most infections with the kennel cough pathogens are mild and hardly noticed.
The kennel cough is not curable…
…because there is no actual therapy against the viral infections in dogs. Supportive medication and antibiotics for the treatment of secondary bacterial infections and the bordetellae are usually successful.
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