Topics in Veterinary Medicine #5
Protect Your Dog Against Bordetella
Kennel Cough-a very contagious infection.

Kennel Cough (ITB-Infectious Tracheo-Bronchitis) is the most common respiratory disease of dogs. Like the common cold in humans, the organisms that cause kennel cough are airborne. Your dog can catch this debilitating, persistent disease simply by being close to other infected dogs. It can also be spread by human handling, through cages, and food and water bowls. That's why it is so common wherever dogs are housed or confined together.

Recognizing the symptoms...
The medical term for kennel cough is infectious canine tracheo-bronchitis. It is an upper respiratory disease primarily caused by a bacterium, Bordetella bronchiseptica. Parainfluenza virus and mycoplasmas have also been implicated as causative agents.

In infected dogs, the bacteria and viruses multiply and destroy the delicate ciliary lining of the dog's trachea, thus irritating its upper respiratory tract and producing the characteristic high-pitched "honking" cough. The gagging cough and retching motions commonly associated with this disease are often mistaken for vomiting or choking. While kennel cough is typically described as a dry hacking cough, there can also be sneezing, accompanied by increased nasal discharge. These symptoms usually last from a few days to several weeks. Some dogs also may have a fever, depression, and loss of appetite.

Two common consequences of kennel cough are persistent coughing, which can keep your dog (and you) awake all night, and a weakened ability to fight other respiratory infections.

Once your pet has been exposed to kennel cough, it will usually take 5-7 days before symptoms can be observed. The severity and duration of infection will ultimately be determined by the number and types of infectious agents involved, the patient's physical and immune status, and, to a lesser extent, the supportive therapy provided. Treatment consists of antibiotics and cough suppressants.

An easy, annual prevention program

Painlessly applied through a nasal applicator or injection, our Bordetella vaccine builds protection at the site of potential infection, starting within 48 hours. Injections that work through the dog's bloodstream require multiple shots over several weeks to build long-term protection against canine cough. That's why we always give your dog his initial dose as nose drops, then boost him annually.

Safe, even in puppies or pregnant dogs

Kennel cough is bothersome for all dogs at any age. But for puppies or immunocompromised animals, it can have serious results, including stunted pulmonary development. In severe cases, a secondary bacterial invasion of the lower respiratory tract may develop into pneumonia.

This is particularly harmful in working breeds such as hunting dogs and greyhounds. Poor pulmonary development, however, can undermine the health of any dog.

Bordetella Vaccination...often required before kennel admittance

Many boarding kennels require a vaccination against kennel cough (ITB - Infectious Tracheo-Bronchitis) before admitting a dog into their facility. We can give an intra-nasal dose or an injection that's quick, easy, and painless. We also recommend keeping your pet's DHLPPC vaccination current so he will be protected from the parainfluenza virus as well.

Possible sources of infection include:

Boarding kennels, Dogs shows, Veterinary hospitals, Breeding kennels, Dog races, Grooming salons, Training facilities, Humane societies, Pet shops, and Field trials Because kennel cough (ITB) is so contagious, we always treat infected dogs on an outpatient basis to prevent transmission to other hospitalized animals. Please call our office if you have any questions about canine cough.

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