Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD) or more commonly known as Kennel cough causes contagious coughing in dogs. Dogs become infected in crowded areas like kennels, day-cares, shelters, and dog parks by a group of viruses and bacteria or both.
Symptoms develop 2-10 days after exposure and include coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge. The cough may sound like honking, and some dogs gag at the end. Fatigue and fever can occur in dogs with more severe disease leading to pneumonia. Consult your Vet immediately.
Kennel cough vaccine lasts 12 months - so should be repeated every year. They are available in three forms-injectable, intranasal vaccine and oral form. Oral vaccine is easy to administer. One vaccine can’t protect against all strains but, vaccinated dogs will get a less severe case of kennel cough.
Usually, the symptoms will resolve within 10 days and will not respond to antibiotics. Kennel cough can turn into pneumonia, which can result in the need for hospitalization and antibiotic therapy. If your pup does require antibiotic therapy, be sure to follow it up with a couple months of probiotic therapy.
Caring for your dog with Kennel Cough
Exercise can make a cough much worse; keep your dog warm, comfortable and allow them to rest as much as they need. Keep your dog away from others - remember your dog will be very contagious whilst they are poorly and can continue to spread kennel cough for 2-3 weeks after their symptoms have cleared. During this time, keep them away from other dogs and public spaces.