Kennel Cough: Spread & Prevention

Injectable Vaccine is Better


I don’t have a question just a heads up to all dog owners that take their dogs to dog parks.  Please get them vaccinated for Kennel Cough.  I did not and my Labrador Retriever came down with Kennel Cough.  She has been miserable for over a week and I hope my German Shepherd does not come down with it too.  Once I am sure that both dogs are healthy again they will get the vaccinations so they can once again have fun in the park.


Dr. Nichol:

This sounds a lot like “True Confessions” or Dear Abby but I am really glad you wrote. Kennel cough (infectious canine tracheobronchitis) is an infection of the trachea (windpipe) that causes almost continual coughing.  If it were you or I we’d worry it would kill us. After a couple of weeks we’d wish it would.


Your lab could have been exposed at the dog park but most infections are spread indoors. Pet shops, humane shelters, and boarding facilities are sometimes hit with big outbreaks. Airborne viruses and bacterial invaders, including bordetella, can be spewed into the air by a carrier dog resulting, about 4 days later, in a crowd of coughing canines. Home treatment with antibiotics, cough suppressants, and bronchodilators (to open airways) usually resolves the hacking in about 10-14 days. Chronic coughers with poor appetites and lethargy may have pneumonia. They can become gravely ill.


I certainly endorse your decision to have your dogs vaccinated. The intranasal vaccine (nose drops) works fast but we’ve seen it cause swelling of nasal passages in some cases. The injectable vaccine is my personal recommendation. Thanks for sharing your experience. You’ve helped make a difference.