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Kennel cough is the common name given to acute infectious tracheobronchitis which affects the upper respiratory system and often causes a dry hacking cough. Kennel cough is a mixed viral and bacterial disease which is why vaccinations provide protection, but they do not cover all strains with new variants emerging. It’s most common in areas where lots of different dogs interact, such as kennels, parks, dog shows or doggy day-care centres, hence the name ‘kennel cough’. Kennel cough is highly contagious and can survive in most environments for several weeks. Kennel cough can be transmitted in the air, by direct contact with an infected animal, or by the sharing of contaminated objects.

FAQs

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough is the common name given to acute infectious tracheobronchitis which affects the upper respiratory system and often causes a dry hacking cough often referred to as a goose honk.

What are the symptoms of kennel cough?

The main symptom of kennel cough is:

  • a persistent, dry, hacking cough.
  • runny nose and eyes

with severe cases or for cases affecting already unwell dogs, symptoms may present as:

  • fever
  • lethargy
  • reduced appetite.

What does kennel cough sound like?

Kennel cough sounds like a forceful hack which is often followed by a gag or swallowing motion. Some people often worry their dogs have something stuck in their throat from the sound. Although dogs can cough for a variety of reasons, we would always recommend your pet to be seen by a vet.

How long does kennel cough last?

In most cases, dogs will recover from kennel cough without treatment within three weeks, but it can sometimes linger for anything up to six weeks and is highly contagious to other dogs.

How do dogs get kennel cough?

Kennel cough can be transmitted in the air, by direct contact with an infected animal, or by the sharing of contaminated objects.

Can cats get kennel cough?

Yes, however it is extremely rare for cats to catch kennel cough.

Can cats get kennel cough from dogs?

Yes, however this would be extremely rare.

What are the symptoms of kennel cough in cats?

The same symptoms would present in both dogs and cats – these include coughing and if an animal is affected more severe with this, they may have cold like symptoms.

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