Q:

How do you treat kennel cough?

A:

Quick Answer

Kennel cough may heal without the use of medicine, but using antibiotics can help to quicken the healing process. Most dogs will recover on their own without treatment since kennel cough is not a serious condition. It is a common disease and most dogs will suffer from it at least once in their lifetime.

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Full Answer

Also referred to as "canine infectious tracheobronchitis," kennel cough can have multiple causes. Dogs contract kennel cough after inhaling a virus or bacteria, which goes to the respiratory tract. The tract has a lining of mucus that helps trap foreign particles. However, there are several factors, such as cold temperatures, poorly ventilated areas, cigarette smoke and dust, which weaken the protection provided by the mucus. This leads to different symptoms including sneezing, eye discharge and a runny nose.

It can take up to 6 weeks for older dogs or those with health conditions to recover from kennel cough. Persistent kennel cough can lead to pneumonia, therefore, taking a dog to a veterinarian in the early stages is important. Serious symptoms, such as loss of appetite and rapid breathing, need the attention of a vet. There are also vaccines that can be given to dogs to help prevent them from contracting kennel cough. However, vaccinations do not treat active infections.

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