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What Are the Symptoms of Kennel Cough?

What are the symptoms of kennel cough? The most common symptoms of kennel cough are coughing and sneezing fits. Other symptoms include runny nose, discharge of mucus, coughing, itching, and congestion in the airways. It is usually not caught in its early stages, which makes it one of the leading causes of death in dogs over dogs. Kennel cough (also referred to as canine contagious tracheobronchiitis) is a highly infectious respiratory infection.

Kennel cough is caused by a virus and is usually contracted when dogs become infected without treatment. It is spread by exposing the airways to an infected dog. Dogs that contract kennel cough without treatment are contagious throughout the period of the illness and the majority of their days afterward. However, there are some cases during which there is no evidence of transmission even after the infection has been contracted, but symptoms still exist, which indicate the possibility of infection spreading to other dogs.

The primary symptom of kennel cough is the appearance of a sore throat in the neck. This sore throat may also produce a fever. Some dogs experience pain or discomfort while breathing or when they try to inhale. The cough itself produces considerable irritation and inflammation of the respiratory tract and trachea. Dogs that have not received treatment for kennel cough may develop pneumonia or acute bronchitis because the inflammation of the trachea and the airways increases the risk of infection.

Other symptoms may include loss of appetite and weight loss. A diet low in fat and carbohydrates has been found to reduce the incidence of kennel cough in dogs. Veterinarians also believe that an increase in the intake of protein may help treat the disease. Although there is no medication currently available to treat the inflammation of the respiratory tract and trachea associated with kennel cough, the disease has been shown to improve when an agent capable of reducing inflammation and relieving the pain and irritability of the animals is used. This agent is believed to be a non-allergenic, non-histamine, non-toxic corticosteroid.

Although not as common, symptoms in dogs include severe respiratory distress, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, difficulty breathing and heavy breathing. These symptoms can be fatal if not treated promptly. To avoid these potentially life threatening symptoms of the disease, owners should avoid exposing the animals to what are known as irritants. These could include dust, mold, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, animal dander, exposure to sunlight, smoking and exposure to cold temperatures.

The incubation period of kennel cough is typically four to six days. The bacteria that cause the disease are contained in the nasal discharge and the upper respiratory tract. Therefore, the symptoms do not generally occur until the bacteria have had time to multiply and spread throughout the animal’s body. For this reason it is extremely important that one spot check occurs each day for signs of infection.

It is not unusual for a dog to be affected by kennel cough while swimming or playing in water. In fact, approximately twenty percent of dogs who are swimming or engaged in other activity of water will contract the condition. Since the most common means of contact for kennel cough to take hold is through the nose, it is important to check the nose and mouth of the dog for signs of infection.

In summary, the symptoms of kennel cough are much more widespread than was previously understood. The symptoms can take on the form of inflammation of the trachea, nasal discharge, and inflammation of the bronchial tubes. The bronchial tubes may become inflamed due to the excessive production of mucus and saliva, while the trachea may become inflamed as a result of exposure to cold temperatures. As more is learned about the causes and symptoms of kennel cough, proper treatment should be implemented.

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