Is Your Dog Coughing More Than Usual?

Has your dog been to a daycare, dog park, pet store or grooming salon in the last 14 days?

If you answer yes to these questions, your dog may have Kennel Cough (also known as Infectious Tracheobronchitis). This condition has been on the rise over the past few weeks. Veterinary clinics all over Moncton have seen a marked increase in the number of appointments for coughing dogs—some days seeing upwards of 5 coughing patients a day!

So what to do first?

Check out our Lifelearn article on Kennel cough. This is a reliable source of information that may answer many of your questions.

When should you bring your dog to see a veterinarian?

  • If your dog is unable to rest/sleep due to their coughing
  • If the coughing is resulting in phlegm being expelled
  • If there is any green or yellow discharge from the eyes or nose
  • If there is a decrease in the amount your dog is eating or drinking
  • If there is a change in the mentation of your dog – is he/she quieter than usual?

When at the veterinary clinic:

  • Keep the dog in the car and check in with the receptionist. All clinics will have a protocol in place to minimize exposure of the coughing dogs to other patients in the hospital
  • When the appointment is complete, bring the dog to the car and come back in to pay for the examination. Minimizing the time your dog is in the waiting room will help keep our hospital safe for other patients
  • Do not pet other patients in the waiting room as you may be able to spread Kennel cough from your dog. The patients in the waiting room may have health conditions that affect their immune systems making them more susceptible to illness

What can you do at home?

  • Minimizing excitement and intensive activity – With Kennel cough, the coughing tends to occur more frequently when the dog is excited or active. Reducing the amount of coughing will limit the amount of inflammation in the airways
  • Ensure they are eating, drinking and getting enough rest. Canned food may be easier for dogs to eat and will help keep them hydrated
  • Provide moisture for the airways. This can be accomplished by using a humidifier in a small room, or by bringing the dog into the bathroom with the shower running
  • Minimize contact with other dogs. Keep your dog at home to prevent spreading of disease
  • Reduce contact to irritants such as incense, cigarette smoke, aerosol products, etc.
  • Use a harness instead of a leash to reduce irritation to the trachea (windpipe)

If you have any further questions about Kennel cough or concerns about your pet, contact your veterinary clinic. Vaccinations for Bordetella is also available for your dog.

Written by Mountain Road Animal Hospital