What is it?
A contagious respiratory disease caused by many different organisms (Canine adenovirus –2, parainfluenza virus, Canine adenovirus –1, Canine herpesvirus, Bordatella bronchiseptica bacteria, Pseudomonas bacteria, Klebsiela bacteria, Pasteurella bacteria, Streptococcus bacteria, Escherichia coli bacteria and Mycoplasma).
Pets suspected of having kennel cough should not be allowed into the hospital’s waiting room. These patients must wait outside until an exam room is available to avoid exposing other patients.
Who is susceptible to it?
How does it spread?
The infection can be spread between dogs in close contact; it is airborne. Affected animals should be isolated from other dogs for at least 7 days past complete resolution of symptoms
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs begin 5 to 10 days post exposure.
What are the symptoms?
Signs are related to the degree of respiratory tract damage and the age of the dog. They may range from an uncomplicated cough to severe life-threatening pneumonia. The very young and the very old seem to be more susceptible. Signs usually include a dry and hacking cough followed by gagging of mucus with nose/ear discharge. Signs can progress to pneumonia.
Is there a test for it?
No, diagnosis is made based on history and clinical signs.
How is it treated?
Outpatient therapy is usually recommended for uncomplicated disease. These dogs are usually treated with antibiotics and medications to suppress the cough.
Cleaning the environment?
Clean the affected areas with bleach 1:30 dilution.
Is there a vaccine?
Yes. There are many vaccines for Bordatella bronchiseptica (Killed and Modified Live) however the vaccine is no guarantee that disease will not develop. Most vaccinated animals seem to develop a milder form of the disease.
The Parainfluenza virus vaccine (Modified Live) can be given intranasaly or as the“second P” in the DHPP vaccine. The vaccine is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters. Puppies should receive a minimum of two doses after 12 weeks of age.
Risk for humans?
Until recently, infectious tracheobronchitis was not considered to be a human health risk. Recently however, research indicates that Bordetella bronchiseptica may cause disease in some humans, primarily those with compromised immune systems.