Kennel Cough Information

Kennel Cough is a fairly common ailment in dogs. It is the canine equivalent of the common cold or flu in humans. People tend to associate it with dogs who either are being or recently have been boarded (or "kenneled"). But your dog need not be boarded to catch Kennel Cough.

Kennel Cough is caused by an airborne virus, which is highly contagious. Just as children often contract colds by being exposed at school or camp, dogs often contract Kennel Cough (hence it’s name) by being exposed at day care, a caged boarding facility, or even the dog park—wherever other dogs can be found.

Any time your dog is in the vicinity of an infected dog, the potential exists for infection. The incubation period is about 8-10 days, meaning your dog will not display symptoms of illness for about 8-10 days following exposure to the virus. Having a strong immune system is best way to avoid coming down with symptoms if/when your dog is exposed to the virus. This is why not every dog in the kennel (or house) will get it if there is an outbreak. The best way to strengthen a dog’s immune system is through promotion of good, complete nutrition and a low-stress, peaceful lifestyle.

We do all we can at Cuteodyssey to keep your dog from getting Kennel Cough. We require that all dogs be vaccinated against Kennel Cough; this vaccine is also known as “Bordatella.” We do not allow guests known to have Kennel Cough symptoms to attend during their illness.

However, just as is the case with the human cold, we cannot get rid of Kennel Cough all together. The vaccine is only approximately 60% effective. It is similar to the "flu shot" for people; each year a vaccine is developed based on which strain(s) are suspected to be most prevalent. Be aware that your dog can still catch Kennel Cough even if s/he has had a shot to prevent it. Moreover, a dog can carry the illness and spread it to others without displaying symptoms itself. Therefore, we want you to be aware that, despite all we do here at Cuteodyssey, Kennel Cough is a common illness that may be contracted here or anywhere else other dogs can be found.

The usual symptoms of Kennel Cough include a dry, "non-productive" cough. The dog sounds as if there is something stuck or caught in the throat and the coughing is an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the object. Sometimes the coughing/gagging seems very violent. The episodes of coughing may go on for minutes at a time and then be repeated at intervals. Of course you will want to check your dog and make certain that there isn’t anything actually stuck in the throat! One way you can "test" for Kennel Cough is to press the throat gently, right in the collar area. If the dog has Kennel Cough, this will probably trigger some coughing.

If your dog displays symptoms of Kennel Cough while attending Cuteodyssey, we will need to isolate your dog to keep the other dogs safe and healthy, and will ask you to pick the dog up as soon as possible. We apologize in advance for the inconvenience, but we are dedicated to making Cuteodyssey the safest possible place it can be

If your dog does develop Kennel Cough symptoms, don’t panic! The way this illness operates is analagous to the common cold that we humans sometimes catch; simply put: it must run its course. There is no magic pill or cure, but there are many ways to treat and ease the symptoms. The goal is to support the body (immune system) while it is healing itself. Kennel Cough generally will be gone in two weeks time or less, with or without antibiotics.

Here are some ideas for natural treatments you may use to treat your dog’s Kennel Cough symptoms. None of these will harm your dog in any way, even if s/he does not even have Kennel Cough, but you may want to check with your own vet before giving them to your dog.

For boosting the immune system and fighting off infection:

• 500 mg Vitamin C 3x/day (250 mg for tiny dogs) (If you already supplement with vitamin C, great! But this is in addition to the regular daily dose, and is spaced out during the day.)

Herbal tinctures:
• Echinacea (give a few drops, 3x/day, either directly into the mouth or on food)
• Goldenseal (same instructions as Echinacea)

• Colloidal Silver (Give just a drop or two, 3x/day. May be mixed with food or put into drinking water.)

For directly combatting the Kennel Cough virus:

Homeopathic Remedies:
• Bryonia (give 1-2 pellets/tablets 3x/day, allow no food for ten minutes before and after the dose. Most health food stores sell homeopathic remedies in the 6X or 6C potency, which is fine to use. If you have a choice of potencies, ask for 30C, which is a bit stronger. Homeopathy works when the correct remedy is matched to the correct symptoms, regardless of the potency of the remedy.)
• Drosera (same instructions)

For soothing throat irritation:
• Honey (about a teaspoon for a small-med dog, a tablespoon for a larger dog, 3x/day)
• Eliminate exposure to second hand smoke.
•Maintain humidity in the environment.



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