What Is Kennel Cough?

Do you know what Kennel Cough is?

Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis or tracheitis, Kennel Cough is a contagious infectious disease that can affect dogs, cats and also humans, so it is considered a zoonosis.

Causes of Kennel Cough

Kennel cough has one or more causative agents, acting together or in isolation. The bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica is the most important of the agents, as it is involved in most infected dogs and also affects humans. However, other etiologic agents may be present, with the most frequent being the Parainfluenza virus and Adenovirus type 2.

Forms of contamination

This disease is more prevalent in cold months and transmission occurs through direct contact with infected dogs or indirect contact with splashed material, cough residues or indirect contact such as drinking fountains, feeders and walkways that have had contact with infected dogs.

Evolution of Kennel Cough disease

After contamination, the virus and bacteria are found in the upper respiratory system and symptoms start to appear between 3 to 8 days.


Coughing, sneezing, fever and lack of appetite are the main symptoms of kennel cough in dogs. In more complicated cases, ocular and nasal discharge with pus and even pneumonia may occur. These symptoms can extend from 1 to 3 weeks or more depending on the causative agents involved and the severity of the disease.

Diagnosis of Kennel Cough

There is no clinical need to establish the causative agent, unless the dog is a participant in a scientific study. The symptoms presented associated with a good clinical history (or anamnesis) and complementary exams such as complete blood count and chest X-ray close most diagnoses of kennel cough.


Treatment is based on supportive measures to maintain the animal’s general condition and antibiotics that have a good distribution in the respiratory tract.

At home, you should keep your pet in a safe place, that may be comfortable for your dog but, at the same time, it needs to be a room distant to other animals and house members.


The only prevention is through vaccination, widely applied in veterinary clinics and avoiding contact with sick animals or with the symptoms mentioned above.

Latest Posts