Kennel cough is a very common, highly contagious respiratory infection in puppies. Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, kennel cough can range from mild to severe and can be caused by many different viruses and bacteria at dog parks or, as it is aptly named, from staying in a kennel. If your puppy has kennel cough, it’s important to get them treated as soon as possible to prevent any further complications or the spread of infectious agents. Here are some tips on how to treat kennel cough in puppies.
Find the Cause
The first step in treating kennel cough is figuring out what caused it. Kennel cough is typically caused by the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria or one of several airborne viruses, such as parainfluenza virus or adenovirus type 2. In some cases, these pathogens can be present without causing any symptoms; however, if your pup’s immune system is weakened due to stress or another underlying health condition (such as heartworm disease), they can become ill with kennel cough. Symptoms of kennel cough are characterized by a runny nose, a hacking cough, and nasal discharge. Young puppies and senior dogs are more susceptible, especially in close quarters, and experience the most severe cases of kennel cough.
Kennel cough can be a range of bacterial infections and secondary bacterial infections, such as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, canine adenovirus type, and canine parainfluenza virus.
Visit The Vet
The first thing you should do if you think your puppy may have kennel cough is take them to the vet for an evaluation. After diagnosing your pup and getting a feel for mild symptoms and severe symptoms, the vet will be able to determine which type of treatment is best for your pet. Depending on how serious their case is and the clinical signs, they may prescribe antibiotics, a cough suppressant, or other medications to help alleviate their symptoms and speed up the healing process.
A good idea when pet owners first adopt or purchase their furry friend, get a kennel cough vaccine immediately, along with a bordetella vaccine. This injectable vaccine is the best way to help reduce risk when in direct contact with an infected dog via water bowls, food bowls, or animal shelters. Your healthy dog will thank you, and so will you as a pet owner.
If your pup’s kennel cough infection is caused by a bacterial infection, then antibiotics may be prescribed by your veterinarian. Depending on the severity of the infection, your pup may need to take oral or injectable antibiotics for anywhere from three days to two weeks. These medications will help bring down inflammation in your dog’s throat and lungs and will, reduce symptoms such as coughing and sneezing, and will prevent the cough from becoming a more serious condition. Make sure that you follow your vet’s instructions when giving your pup antibiotics so that they can get better quickly!
There are also a number of natural remedies that can be used to help alleviate kennel cough symptoms in puppies. Some of these remedies include steam inhalation, honey, slippery elm bark tea, and warm compresses applied directly to the throat area. You should always consult with your vet before administering any kind of natural remedy so that you know it is safe for your pup.
Keep Them Comfortable
In addition to visiting the vet, there are also several things you can do at home to make sure your puppy stays comfortable while they recover from kennel cough. Make sure they have access to fresh water at all times and feed them a healthy diet that’s high in protein and low in fat. You should also keep them away from other dogs until their symptoms have cleared up completely – this will help minimize the risk of spreading the infection further. Finally, try not to over-exert your pup with too much physical activity – this could make their symptoms worse and slow down their recovery time.
Hygiene Is Key
Finally, it’s important that you practice good hygiene when caring for a puppy with kennel cough – this includes washing your hands before and after handling them and avoiding contact with any other pets or animals until their symptoms have cleared up completely. Additionally, make sure that you clean all bedding, toys, dishes, collars, leashes, etc., with disinfectant regularly – this will help reduce the risk of spreading any germs or bacteria that may still be lingering around.
There is Hope
Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory illness that affects puppies more often than adult dogs. It’s important that if you suspect that your pup has contracted the virus, you take them to see a vet right away so they can properly diagnose and treat it before it gets worse or spreads further. Additionally, there are several things you can do at home, such as keeping them comfortable by providing fresh water and food regularly along with limiting physical activity; practicing good hygiene; and disinfecting all bedding, toys, dishes, etc., which can help speed up the healing process for your furry friend!