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Kennel Cough

Infectious Tracheobronchitis, or Kennel Cough, is an extremely contagious respiratory disease of dogs.  It is transmitted by close contact between dogs, so your dog is at risk when he stays at a kennel, goes for a grooming, to a dog park, or to a dog show.

What animals are at risk?

All susceptible dogs in contact with other dogs are potentially at risk.  Puppies and older animals may have more serious symptoms than otherwise healthy adult dogs.  If left untreated, kennel cough may even progress to bronchopneumonia.

How is it transmitted?

Transmission occurs by a cough, nasal secretions, or even close contact between dogs.  Clinical signs develop rapidly and may remain for up to six weeks.

Clinical Signs

Clinical signs most often include:

  • harsh, dry cough, maybe accompanied by regurgitation
  • nasal and ocular secretions
  • sneezing
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite
  • fever

Treatment administered by your veterinarian most often consists of antibiotics and antitussives.  Treatment may be long, and your animal may remain contagious for several weeks.


Prevention by vaccination remains the best option to protect your animal or to reduce the severity of clinical signs.  Vaccination should be administered to all dogs that have contact with other dogs, whether occasional or regularly.