From time to time there is an outbreak of kennel cough. There may be many components to the disease but usually an influenza virus and/or Bordetella bacteria are involved. These are specific to dogs however other species can have their own similar diseases, like humans getting the flu and Bordetella Pertussis ( whooping cough) .

There are 3 types of KC vaccines to help prevent it – intranasal, injectable and now oral vaccines to stimulate immunity against Kennels Cough. Some of these have attenuated strains of both Influenza (viral) and Bordetella Bronchiseptica ( bacteria). This is done yearly as the immunity does not last very long. And strains can keep changing. Like human flu vaccines, they are not 100% in preventing the disease but should reduce the severity. Boarding kennels will require it.

It is not always associated with attending boarding kennels. It is airborne and can be spread on fomites ( solid items) like dog toys.

As the name suggests infectious tracheobronchitis presents as a cough and sometimes gags and retch. Some dogs may cause themselves to vomit but it is usually froth or liquid. (be sure to tell the vet it starts with a cough as vomiting can be another illness and is treated differently). Dogs may also be sad and even off their food.

We generally treat it like the flu!. Rest and keep warm. Encourage eating with tasty food.

Like any virus it has to run its course, however if severe it might have a bacterial infection on top. Contact your vet if you are concerned. They can prescribe medicines to help relieve the symptoms and even give antibiotics if warranted or a fever.

It is contagious so keep dogs distanced, a practice we know too well know from Covid. Keep them away from dog parks and town, and don’t exercise them when they are unwell. Take them out to the toilet only and let them rest.