Animal Health


Q & A

Coming Soon!


Kennel cough

“What is Kennel Cough?”


‘Kennel Cough' is the term that was commonly applied to the most prevalent upper respiratory problem in dogs in the United States. It is highly contagious in dogs. The disease is found worldwide and will infect a very high percentage of dogs in their lifetime.


“What are the symptoms of Kennel Cough?”


Kennel Cough in dogs will stimulate a coarse, dry, hacking cough about three to seven days after the dog is initially infected. It sounds as if the dog needs to "clear it's throat" and the cough will be triggered by any extra activity or exercise. Many dogs that acquire Kennel Cough will cough every few minutes, all day long. Many owners complain about an “annoying cough”. Life threatening cases of Kennel Cough are extremely rare, however, in more severe cases, the symptoms may progress and include lethargy, fever, inappetence, pneumonia, and in very severe cases, even death. The majority of severe cases occur in immunocompromised animals, or young unvaccinated puppies.


If untreated, how long would the cough last?”


Kennel cough usually will last from 10 to 21 days and can be very annoying for the dog and the dog's owners. We recommend seeing your Vet so that we can start your pet on medications to comfort you and your pet, and to ensure it does not become a severe case.



“How is my pet treated for Kennel Cough?”

Depending on the severity of the disease, your vet will determine the treatment. If the dog has a good appetite, and is very alert, but suffers only from a recurrent cough-your vet may prescribe a cough suppressant to help comfort your pet. However, in other cases, your pet may be prescribed antibiotics or other meds in severe cases. Please ensure you share as much knowledge about your pet and their behavior to the vet during your office visit.


How do I prevent kennel cough?

The best method is to vaccinate your dogs, especially those that are young or going to be boarded. This vaccine may not completely eliminate the possibility of your pet catching “kennel cough”, however, we do believe they will help reduce the severity of the disease.



It is always a good idea, though, to have any dog examined if coughing is noticed because some very serious respiratory diseases such as Blastomycosis, Heartworms and even cardiac disease might display similar sounding coughing. Your veterinarian, through a careful physical exam and questioning regarding the dog's recent environment, will be able to establish if the dog's respiratory signs are from Kennel Cough or some other respiratory insult.