For most dog owners, the name kennel cough is very misleading. It suggests that kennel cough or Bordetella tracheobronchitis only affects dogs in kennels. While this is true because there is a high population of immunocompromised dogs in that environment, this illness does not discriminate environments or potentially affected dogs. A bacteria known as Bordetella Bronchseptica causes bordetella tracheobronchitis. The bacteria affects the respiratory and reproductive tract.
It is highly contagious and transmitted via direct contact with mucosal secretions and by inhaling airborne particles. It is why it is a tricky illness because your dog can contract kennel cough anywhere, just like a cold. It may occur by going for a walk and greeting another dog that may not even know they are affected yet. If that is not reason enough, if you are also a cat owner, your feline friend can contract kennel cough from your dog, too!
Most dogs will exhibit signs of kennel cough through a sudden, harsh cough as well as unproductive retching. They may also have runny nasal discharge. If this occurs, it is best to take a visit to the vet.
This illness does not discriminate and is very transmissible to any dog, any time, any place. Luckily, kennel cough can be vaccinated against and can make having social interactions with other dogs safer, happier and more fun for the whole family!
If you have any questions, give us a call at 905.853.4706.
Written by: Laura Fiorini, ACA