'Kennel cough is a contagious
respiratory tract infection of dogs. Like human coughs and colds,
it transmits amongst large numbers of animals who come in close
proximity, e.g. in dog shows, training classes and dog kennels.
is caused by a number of different bacteria and viruses, often
in combination together, rather than by one specific bug. This
means that every outbreak can be different, in both incubation
time, severity and range of symptoms. Sometimes dogs show wet
snuffled noses and sneezing, sometimes severe pneumonia is a feature.
More typical is the hacking cough (sometimes described as a 'honk')
preceded by retching as if the dog is trying to be sick or has
something stuck in its throat.
disease is usually distressing for dog and owner, but is rarely
In mild cases, no specific treatment is required if the dog is
bright and well. These dogs should be rested and avoid provoking
coughing bouts and kept WELL AWAY from other dogs until the cough
is completely resolved. Mild cases should clear in 5-10 days but
can take longer.
In many case where the dog is coughing frequently, or is unwell,
antibiotics are used to eliminate the bacterial part of the infection.
This will hasten recovery.
dog can transmit the disease without currently be showing clinical
signs, if it is:
recovering from an episode of illness
in the early stages of infection before clinical signs develop
incubating the disease, but its immunity prevents it from succumbing
to the disease itself.
Every year kennels are struck down with outbreaks of kennel cough
without ever having admitted a dog that is showing signs of disease.'
As there is no 100% effective vaccine, we do not, at present,
insist upon it. However, should you have any reason to think that
your dog may be suffering from or carrying Kennel Cough please
DO NOT bring them to crèche. Thank You.
If unsure, please feel free to telephone