Tracheobronchitis, more commonly known as kennel cough, is an infection of the upper respiratory system and is a communicable disease. The most common causes of this cough are the parainfluenza virus, bordetella bronchiseptica, and mycoplasma. Some believe that canine adenovirus, reovirus, and canine herpes virus may also be responsible. In most cases, this cough is not life-threatening, but complications can render it fatal. Recent studies have proven that even humans can catch this infection and young kids are the most vulnerable. The most common inquiry dog owners have is how long kennel cough lasts. The incubation period for this cough is 2 to 14 days. The symptoms can last for around 10 days if there are no complications. Even after the dog has been cured, the animal may be contagious for up to 6 to 14 weeks.
- This particular cough is characterized by a coarse, dry hacking or honking cough. A clue for identifying this cough is that it may sound like your dog is about to throw up.
- In some cases, it is accompanied by a running nose and pink eye or conjunctivitis.
- Few serious cases may lead to fever and pneumonia. It also leads to lethargy in dogs.
- Symptoms include formation of a white, foamy phlegm and decreased diet in afflicted dogs.
A standard 5 way or 7 way vaccine does protect your dog from many viruses. Since kennel cough is a localized infection, it cannot be prevented by vaccines. However, they may help in reducing its severity. There are two types of vaccines that can be given to your dog, they are, injectable and intranasal. Depending on whether the dog is aggressive or not, one can choose either of the two. The most effective vaccine is the intranasal one consisting of both, parainfluenza and bordetella, as it creates localized immunity and deals with both the infectious agents.
If your pet shows the above symptoms, it is best to isolate it from your other healthy pets. It's advised that you undertake basic home treatment for your pet. You should also change your clothes and wash your hands before you interact with other pets, to avoid infecting them. You should also clean and ventilate all closed places, especially the kennel and the area used by your dog. One should regularly get the pet vaccinated and not forget the boosters. Get your dog the intranasal vaccine at least twice a year, it immunizes the dog within 72 hours. Also, maintain hygienic surroundings. Prevention is relatively easy as long as one pays attention to detail.
Whether home remedies for kennel cough exist is the most common queries of dog owners. If you have noticed some mild symptoms in your pet, then have a look at some home remedies. These basic tips and home treatments can help you bring your pet back to its healthy self.
- If your dog has a mild cough, then over-the-counter human cough syrups can be given. Even if you give your dog honey on a piece of bread, the irritation in the throat will clear out. If possible, try feeding your dog raw honey in warm water.
- If needed, some basic antibiotics and vitamin C supplements can also be given.
- Another home remedy is the bitter herb, wild cherry bark, which can work wonders for your dog's throat. The dosage used for children works perfectly for pets too.
- You can also administer peppermint tea through a medicine dropper. The mild decongestant and expectorant, Yerba Santa can also be made into tea and given to your dog.
- Keep your pet warm and give him wet food, so that it's easier for him to swallow. Remove your pet's collar as this will make coughing easier.
- Homeopathic medicines like Plantago lanceolata, Echinacea purpurea, and Bryonia C6 can also be used. However, it is best to consult a vet before doing so as he would know the best treatment.
As a pet owner, you should watch out for certain red flags such as a golden or green phlegm, watery eyes, and lethargy. In case, even after administering optimal home remedies, the health of your pet has not improved, then please consult a vet. Not only is your pet's well-being at risk, but also that of the other dogs which your pet comes in contact with. Like it's said, prevention is better than cure, therefore, it's a must to follow basic dog care.