Jump to content
BC Boards

Kennel Cough


Recommended Posts

This morning I woke up to Daisy coughing. I noticed that she coughed yesterday morning once but dismissed it since she didn't do it again. This morning she also seemed to be "wheezing" a bit when she was breathing or sounded congested. I took her outside to go to the bathroom and she did not cough again after that. It still bothered me enough that I took her to the vet. She does indeed have kennel cough. She had been vaccinated for bortatella - which I know is similar to our flu shots so not effective against all strains. She does go to day care once a week. According to the lady that runs day care (which is at my vet's office), there was a dog that came to camp last week that was coughing. She now also has one other dog that coughed yesterday. At any rate, that is my guess as to where she picked it up.


I will talk to my vet tonight when I pick up the antibiotics that she is prescribing but is there any experience or advise that you guys have or can share? Anything I should watch for? I have read a bit about kennel cough on-line but just curious.


Also, I was suppose to have a stock lesson on Saturday - I should cancel right?


And I am suppose to pick up my new pup on Saturday? Any advice on that? I can have him held a bit longer if that was in his best interest.


Thanks everyone!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kennel cough has been making the rounds this year, according to my vet - and according to my own experience. Since it is viral, antibiotics would only affect any associated or subsequent bacterial infection. All mine had kennel cough and got over it handily without any special treatment - no medication and just a bit of a cut-back on activity (since activity seemed to stimulate the coughing).


I would definitely wait on the pup until after Daisy is free of symptoms for a few days before I brought in a pup. Even if the pup had been vaccinated (and I don't know when is the age to start that type of vaccine), there are various strains.


JMO, and I'm sure folks who have much more experience will chime in with good advice. Best wishes!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to my vet you can vaccinate pups (intranasally) at 6 weeks, but it must be done 72 hrs before exposure. But considering your dog was vaccinated and still got kennel cough I think I would hold off on getting the pup since kennel cough tends to be harder on younger/older dogs.


You may also want to ask your vet how long after symptoms subside that they are still shedding the virus, as I belived it is a longer period of time than you would expect, but someone may know better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kennel cough can be caused by several different agents, some of which are bacteria (Bordatella bronchiseptica is a bacterium) and some of which are viruses (parainfluenza virus and adenovirus, to name just a couple).


As Sue noted, it seems to be making the rounds this year. I don't vaccinate (haven't had any incidences of k.c. in 15 years of owning dogs, till now) and my dogs caught it a few weeks ago, and it made the rounds through all of them except my really old man, who rarely interacts with the other dogs. Even the pup got it. In healthy adult dogs, kennel cough should not be particularly dangerous (therefore antibiotics aren't necessarily called for, and given the overuse of them and the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria I would avoid them unless truly necessary), but one needs to be careful with the very young, the very old, and the immune compromised (sound familiar?). The only dogs of mine who were put on antibiotics were the pup, who was ~8 weeks old and Willow, who has heart failure. Everyone else coughed for 3-4 days and then was pretty much over it, though I kept them all quiet for a week, only out of their crates to go potty. Willow took much longer to recover, and ended up completing two rounds of antibiotics and requiring a prescription cough medicine.


According to my vet, the best course of action is to limit activity (crate rest) because coughing irritates the bronchial passages and exercise will likely stimulate coughing--creating a vicious cycle. He also said to limit activity for a week after the symptoms had abated. I didn't wait quite that long, but did give them 3-4 days beyond the time they became asymptomatic.


Secondary infections are the big concern. If she starts wheezing a lot or seeming to have difficulty breathing, then a trip to the vet is in order. If the cough lasts more than 4-5 days, consult with your vet. But I would guess if Daisy is a healthy adult, she's not likely to have problems dealing with the infection herself.


So really just keeping Daisy quiet and away from other dogs she might infect is all you need to do. I would hold off on getting the puppy until at least a week after Daisy has become asymptomatic.


In response to Kelly's comments, I got a number of different responses from vets regarding how long the dog could be contagious. I was also told that a dog can be contagious and asymptomatic (that is, that it can spread kennel cough *before* ever showing symptoms itself). Nearly everyone I talked to said to wait at least a week after symptoms subsided before letting dogs mingle with others again.


As Kelly mentioned, it takes some time before the body can mount an immune response after being vaccinated. Repeat vaccines generally provoke a faster response, but it's for this reason that I get a bit aggravated at vets who push a kennel cough vaccine on the day a dog is going in for a procedure, since there's little likelihood that a vaccine given the day of exposure is going to do one whit of good....



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our puppy had it 2 weeks ago. He hurt his leg a week prior and we left him at the vet for 4 hours or so- and I imagine he picked it up there. On our check up visit we mentioned the cough. The Vet told us that we are better off letting him rest and as long as it doesn't become wet cough's or yellow/green mucous it should clear on it's own.


I gave him some extra fish oil on his food and rest and it cleared in about 2 or 3 days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Julie's post covered everything well. I just wanted to add that I've had lots of foster dogs with kennel cough. It's tough to get a dog from the shelter that doesn't have kc. I usually don't treat with antibiotics unless they are lethargic and not eating. IME, too, the younger dogs and puppies tend to get it worse than the older adult dogs. A couple of years ago, my three dogs caught kc from doggy daycare. Actually, two of them caught it and brought it home to my older dog. My older dog coughed for a day. Skittles coughed for almost a week, and Charlie coughed for about 3 or 4 days. My dogs have never caught kc from a foster dog. But, the kc they caught at the daycare, they passed on to the foster dogs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the advice.


I will not be picking up Devon, my new pup, for at least another week. I guess I can wait.... :rolleyes: I know it is the best for him and Daisy.


I picked up Daisy from the vet's after work and she has not coughed once. I am guessing that she will tomorrow morning. She seems to be worse in the morning.


The vet's office is providing free exams and antibiotics to all day campers that have symptoms. They feel just awful. The lady that runs the day camp called all of the camper's owners today to personally tell them about the KC. All campers that were at camp today received a letter about the problem. They are closing the camp and boarding facilities tomorrow to clean them. They have traced the KC back to one camper that was at camp 8 days ago but was there with 6 other dogs. Some of those dogs attend day camp more than once a week. Daisy goes to camp on Wednesdays, my mom's dogs go on Tuesdays and Fridays. All three of them have coughed today. We took the antibiotics from vet but have not dosed them.


We are just going to keep them as quiet as we can for the next few days.


Thanks again! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...