Question about Kennel Cough

Question about Kennel Cough

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Our question this week was:

My dog is showing all signs and symptoms of kennel cough is there something I can get to cure her without going to a vet. I at this time do not have the money to take her to one and I can't get a vet to work with me on it or a payment plan and I want her to get better I have had her since a 3 month old puppy.

William Brooks


Hi – thanks for your email. Kennel cough is also called "acute infectious tracheobronchitis (ITB). Kennel cough is a contagious disease associated with a honking type cough. Several different organisms can cause kennel cough (viral and bacteria).

Generally kennel cough symptoms develop 3 to 10 days after exposure and the symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks. Generally the cases are self-limiting and symptoms improve gradually.

If you dog is coughing but eating and drinking well and still acting playful – that is good. If your dog is acting lethargic, losing weight, or not eating, I'd recommend taking him to your veterinarian.

I'm worried your dog may be coughing for another reason that may be more severe than a mild case of kennel cough. If so, I'd recommend taking him to your veterinarian or local emergency clinic. Having a dog is a responsibility and with it come health care and the associated costs.

For mild cases of kennel cough, things you can do at home include:

  • Keep your pet warm and dry, minimize stress.
  • Avoid large amounts of exercise – keep your dog quiet – leash walks only
  • Make sure he eats and drinks well – if you notice changes in appetite or lethargy – please see your veterinarian.
  • Avoid tight collars – as this may stimulate a cough. Use a harness if you dog pulls on the leash/collar.
  • Cough suppressants can be used occasionally.
  • Provide plenty of fresh clean water.
  • You may offer humidified hair such as through a vaporizer or in a steamy bathroom for 10 minutes twice a day.

    Good luck,

    Dr. Debra

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