Kennel cough

Téma: dog,

Kennel cough is a common infectious inflammatory disease of the trachea in the dog. In adult dogs the infection usually resolves itself within a few days to weeks, but in puppies or older dogs the disease can progress to pneumonia due to an underdeveloped immune system.

This is a worldwide disease that every dog will encounter at some point in its lifetime. Distemper spreads very quickly among dogs by droplet infection, especially in environments where there is a large concentration of dogs (dog hotels, shelters, dog shows, training facilities, etc.).There are several causes of the disease. These are mainly canine adenovirus, coronavirus, herpesvirus, canine influenza virus and canine distemper virus. The bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica can also be a primary agent in young puppies. Other bacteria of the Pseudomonas, Streptococcus, E. coli, Klebsiella and Mycoplasma type act as secondary bacterial infections and exacerbate and complicate the disease. Combined infections involving multiple agents usually have a more severe course than infections caused by a single agent.

Clinical signs:

A typical cough usually appears 5-10 days after the dog has met an infected animal.

The disease is usually recognised by a typical dry, paroxysmal cough, often associated with coughing and vomiting of mucus. The onset of the disease is usually very rapid. The owner may think that a foreign object is stuck in his dog’s throat. It is therefore important for the diagnosis to say whether the dog has been in an environment where there were more dogs and also to be able to describe the cough.

Although an intense dry cough is typical of kennel cough, it can also be caused by other diseases. Therefore, it is always necessary to have the dog thoroughly examined by a veterinarian.


Treatment of the disease always depends on the overall condition of the dog. Sometimes only supportive therapy is sufficient, especially with immune support drugs and cough syrups. In more severe cases, it is often necessary to use antibiotics to suppress secondary bacterial infection, pain, fever and inflammation. It is always necessary to treat with preparations that are safe for the dog and therefore not use human medications.

Vaccination against kennel cough has been an option for several years. The vaccine can be administered no earlier than 3 weeks of age of the puppy, and at least 72 hours to 3 weeks before the expected risk exposure. However, because the disease is caused by multiple agents, this vaccine is not 100% effective. However, the duration of illness is significantly reduced and transmission to other dogs in the vicinity of the affected individual is also reduced. The vaccine is effective against the most common pathogens: parainfluenza and bordetella. The vaccine is administered into one nostril, so the principle of protection against the disease is the production of antibodies in the mucous membrane of the nose, where the pathogens normally enter the body. It is recommended to repeat the vaccination annually.