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Posted on 03-07-2018

Kennel Cough FAQs and Answers from our Diamond Bar Veterinarians

Kennel cough is a preventable canine health problem most dog owners have heard of. We have a fully staffed emergency vet team here in Diamond Bar, CA and are dedicated to preventing as many dogs and puppies from acquiring this illness as possible. Our veterinarians have provided answers to some frequently asked questions they receive on kennel cough.

dog sick with kennel cough

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough (clinically known as infectious tracheobronchitis) is a type of respiratory infection primarily caused by a bacteria known as Bordetella bronchisepticaIt's highly contagious and can easily spread between dogs (though it's not transmissible from dogs to humans or cats). In worsening cases, it can lead to pneumonia. 

What are the signs and symptoms of kennel cough? 

The main symptom is excessive coughing (often described as a strong honk). Additional symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • lethargy 
  • low-grade fever
  • painful throat
  • loss of appetite

It's important to note that these symptoms can be caused by a wide number of factors, including the canine flu, so it's important to get a correct diagnosis from a vet in order to know for sure if your pet has kennel cough.

How is kennel cough prevented? 

Kennel cough can be prevented via vaccination against the bacteria that causes it. You can also prevent kennel cough by keeping your dog or puppy away from other animals who have a positive diagnosis. 

Kennel cough can be acquired anywhere in your community where other dogs spend time, including parks, training facilities, kennels, grooming facilities, and pet-friendly restaurants.

Can my dog still get kennel cough even if fully vaccinated?

Yes. Vaccines drastically reduce the risk of your pet falling ill and can reduce the severity of an infection if one does occur, so they are still highly advisable, but they do not offer 100% protection. Dogs who are unvaccinated, unwell, highly stressed, or immunocompromised for any reason are particularly at risk. 

What does kennel cough treatment entail?

If you notice your dog or puppy cough, bring your pet in to see us right away. We can take your canine companion through a comprehensive pet exam to confirm a kennel cough diagnosis and rule out other respiratory infections including the canine flu. 

Once a positive diagnosis has been made, treatment can begin, which typically includes antibiotics, cough suppressant medications (if your pet's cough is obstructing her ability to eat or drink), and IV fluids. 

Depending on your pet's specific needs, we may also provide additional services in order to help us properly diagnose, treat, and manage the kennel cough condition. Related in-house services may include blood work, fluoroscopy, endoscopy, and imaging studies such as ultrasound, CT, MRI, and digital X-rays.

Concerned about Kennel Cough? Schedule an Appointment with our Diamond Bar Vet

If you are concerned that your pet may have kennel cough, or would like to get them vaccinated, contact our East Los Angeles emergency vet staff now by calling (909) 861-5737. East Valley Emergency Pet Clinic serves the entire greater Los Angeles Community including Diamond Bar, West Covina, Chino Hills, and Glendora.

Trust your instincts and call us today with any concerns! 

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