At book club last week our hosts little dog started to cough. I asked her if he was OK and she said yes but that he and the other dog both seemed to have chicken bones stuck in their throats! Although it\’s not a good idea to feed your dog chicken bones, they are certainly not likely to get stuck in two dogs throats causing them to cough!
So why are they coughing? They both have a highly contagious infection commonly known as “Kennel Cough”. It is caused by a number of different viruses and bacteria and, contrary to the name, does not only occur in dogs that have been to kennels.
It is spread by direct contact with another infected dog and by people or objects that may have been contaminated ( coughed on) by another dog.
To prevent it, there are vaccines available from your vet so at your dog’s next annual check up, ask about adding the Kennel Cough Vaccine to your primary health care. Also if your dog is going to or is experiencing a stressful situation such as going to kennels, moving house, a new pup in the home etc, it may be worth giving him and immune boosting supplement such as Medimune or Bio-Vita. Dogs that are stressed or immunocompromised in any way are more likely to contract Kennel Cough if exposed to it than healthy dogs.
If you suspect you dog has Kennel Cough , do take him to the vet, although it may start off as an upper respiratory infection, it can progress to a possibly fatal Pneumonia.