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Kennel Cough: What is it and is my dog at risk?

Kennel cough is caused by a mix of air-borne viruses and bacteria that give dogs a sore throat and a hacking cough. Dogs can catch it in kennels (as it says on the tin!) but also in the park or from other dogs they meet outside or play with.

It usually sounds like they have something caught in their throat and they often retch a bit, or sometimes even vomit, after coughing. In most cases, it will resolve by itself after a week, but some dogs will need some anti-inflammatories to help the cough. Very occasionally, affected dogs will get a temperature and feel unwell in themselves with it.

My Dog has Symptoms: What Should I Do?

If your dog has symptoms, you should keep them away from other dogs so they can’t pass on the cough. Ideally keep them indoors until the symptoms have stopped, but if you need to take them to a public place to use the toilet, try and avoid places where lots of other dogs gather like parks and keep at least 2 meters away from other dogs.

There are other health problems that can cause a cough, so if your dog is coughing please call us for advice. In most cases, we can offer you a video telehealth consult in the first instance to assess whether your dog needs a physical examination.

Can it be Prevented?

The good news is there is a vaccine against kennel cough. It’s a bit like the flu vaccine for people in that it doesn’t completely stop dogs from getting kennel cough. However, it reduces the risk and makes the symptoms much less severe if they do catch it. That means your dog can get back out for walks much quicker and reduces the risk of them needing to see the vet! This can be done at their annual vaccination or as a separate consultation if they are not due for a while.

Again, please do contact us if you have any queries or would like to book in a teleconsultation regarding vaccination history: 020 8459 4729


Order Dr Hannah Parkin's Amazing Guide To Caring For Your New Puppy.
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