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Understanding Canine Cough: What Pet Owners Need to Know

Canine cough, known as kennel cough or acute canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs. It shares similarities with the common cold in humans but is exclusive to our canine companions. Symptoms include loud, high-pitched cough, loss of appetite, lack of energy, retching or hacking, and nasal discharge. These symptoms can persist for several weeks and may worsen with exercise.


Causes and Transmission

Dogs are more likely to be exposed in places like boarding kennels, training classes, doggie daycares, parks, and beaches, where dog-to-dog contact occurs through sniffing, sneezing, and sharing water bowls. The time from exposure to the onset of clinical signs typically ranges from 3 to 10 days.

Management and Treatment

While canine cough is not often fatal, it can be distressing for dogs and their owners. Veterinary treatment may be necessary to alleviate clinical signs, especially if the dog has other underlying conditions. Treatment may include cough suppressants to provide comfort during natural recovery or antibiotics to target bacterial infections. It's essential to monitor the dog's condition closely and seek veterinary advice if there's no improvement within a week of treatment.



Preventing canine cough involves a multifaceted approach. Vaccination plays a crucial role, although not all agents causing canine cough are available in vaccines. Vaccination reduces the severity of the disease and remains a cornerstone in managing it. 

As a responsible dog owner, it's essential to stay informed about canine health issues like canine cough. If your dog shows signs or has been in contact with infected dogs, isolate them at home and seek veterinary advice promptly. By working with veterinarians and practising good hygiene measures, we can help keep our furry friends healthy and happy. Remember, good health is the best gift we can give to our beloved companions.

Disclaimer: This is general information only. It is not intended as medical or health advice and should not be relied on as a substitute for consultation with a qualified healthcare professional who understands your pet's individual needs.

Phoenix Animal Wellness

At PAW we have gathered together a group of dedicated animal health professionals who are committed to providing outstanding, innovative, value for money care.