Pet Page | Canine Cough

Pet Page | Canine Cough

Pet Page | Canine Cough 1000 1141 The Flyer Magazine

Canine cough (Kennel cough or infectious tracheobronchitis) is a common, contagious, highly infectious upper respiratory disease, seen in dogs. The current epidemic of canine cough is a normal occurrence in New Zealand. Canine cough is similar to the ‘common’ cold in people. It cannot be spread to humans (it is not zoonotic).

What are the symptoms of infectious canine cough?
Clinical signs may include:
• loud, high pitched cough, often described as a “goose honk”
• loss of appetite
• lack of energy
• retching or hacking
• nasal discharge.

What causes canine cough?
Canine cough is a multifactorial disease. Several viruses, bacteria and other organisms, as well as environmental factors such as stress, dust and humidity affect the likelihood of the disease.

How is canine cough transmitted?
Dogs tend to be exposed in places such as boarding kennels, training classes, doggie day-care, parks and beaches or in any other situation where dogs socialise.

Dog-to-dog contact through sniffing, sneezing, coughing and sharing water bowls are important means of disease transmission.

Infected dogs can remain contagious and continue to spread infectious organisms for extended periods of time after recovery from the infection.

I think my dog has canine cough, what should I do?
If your dog is showing clinical signs or has been in contact with another dog that has canine cough, isolate your dog at home and call your vet clinic for further advice. Medication may be required to help with discomfort and fever.

Bouts of coughing can last for several weeks and may be exacerbated by exercise so keeping your dog relaxed and rested is important in the recovery process.

There are a number of vaccinations available for canine cough in New Zealand. It is important to remember that canine cough is a complex multifactorial disease and not all of the agents that cause canine cough are included in the available vaccines. Effective vaccination may not completely prevent the disease from occurring in your dog but it does reduce the severity of canine cough and remains an important cornerstone in managing the disease.