Veterinary Associates of North Branford, LLC

2364 Route 80
North Branford, CT 06471

(203)481-4238

northbranfordvet.com

Kennel Cough

What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is an infectious bronchitis of dogs characterized by a harsh, hacking cough that most people describe as sounding like “something stuck in my dog’s throat.” This bronchitis may be of brief duration and mild enough to warrant no treatment at all or it may progress all the way to a life-threatening pneumonia depending on which infectious agents are involved and the immunological strength of the patient. An uncomplicated kennel cough runs a course of a week or two and entails frequent fits of coughing in a patient who otherwise feels active and normal. Uncomplicated cases do not involve fever or listlessness, just lots of coughing. These dogs should be examined by a veterinarian and prescribed antibiotics. Numerous organisms may be involved in a case of kennel cough. Infections with the following organisms frequently occur concurrently to create a case of kennel cough:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica (bacteria)
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Adenovirus type 2
  • Canine distemper virus
  • Canine influenza virus
  • Canine herpesvirus (very young puppies)
  • Mycoplasma canis (a single-cell organism that is neither virus nor bacterium)
  • Canine reovirus.

Prevention through Vaccination

Vaccination is only available for: Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine adenovirus type 2,canine parainfluenza virus, canine distemper, and canine influenza. Infections with other members of the kennel cough complex cannot be prevented. For Bordetella bronchiseptica, vaccination can either be given as a separate injection or as a nasal immunization.

Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccination may not prevent infection. In some cases,vaccination minimizes symptoms of illness but does not entirely prevent infection. This is true whether nasal or injectable vaccine is used.

If boarding is planned and more than 6 months have passed since the last booster shot, ideally the vaccine should be boosted 5 days or more before the start of boarding.

Does Vaccination against Kennel Cough (Bordetella) or Parainfluenza Offer any Protection against Canine Influenza?

No. These area completely different infections; however, there are two canine influenza vaccines that have recently become available. Vaccination is recommended for dogs that board frequently, attend group training classes or events with other dogs, play regularly at the dog park or doggie daycare, or who go to the groomer consistently. If you think your dog is at risk, talk to our staff about vaccination.