Infectious canine tracheobronchitis, also referred to as kennel cough, is an extremely contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs, according to PetMD. The most common causes of kennel cough in dogs are mycoplasma, parainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica. These bacteria and viruses cause dogs to develop inflammation in their bronchi and trachea, which results in kennel cough.
Young puppies and older dogs are at the greatest risk of developing or catching kennel cough, according to PetMD. Mild symptoms of kennel cough include retching, dry hacking and watery nasal discharge. In serious cases, kennel cough can progress and lead to other serious illnesses, such as inappetence, lethargy, fever, pneumonia and even death.