Kennel cough is an inflammation of the trachea and bronchi due to an infection which usually produces a dry cough. It is usually caused by the joint action of various pathogens. Environmental factors as well as animal handling are also important causes.
For these infectious agents to attack the dog, it must have a depressed immune system. This usually happens due to a previously decisive circumstance, such as changes in temperature or humidity, a living environment with poor air circulation, exposure to dust, or stress caused by large concentrations of animals, or after travel or transportation.
Although the disease may affect isolated dogs, it usually affects those that live or have lived in crowded situations. The most frequent ones are breeding and boarding kennels, animal shelters and pet stores.
Dogs that suffer this problem acquire the illness through direct contact. This means that to become ill it is necessary for a healthy animal to be in contact with a diseased one. This is why it is easy to understand that transmission is easier between animals that live with other animals.
The disease causes fever, a watery nasal discharge and a cough that is dry, hacking and not productive. Eye problems and appetite loss may also appear. It usually lasts between one and two weeks. Frequently, it disappears the same way it started.
Kennel cough is not a serious illness and it may be cured without treatment. After a spontaneous recovery the animal is immune for a variable period of time, usually a year. Other times, if the symptoms and clinical conditions of the animal require it, treatment will be necessary. This treatment usually works in seven days.
As in most infectious conditions affecting dogs, one of the pillars of prevention is vaccination. Your pet will be protected against this illness if it is properly vaccinated.
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