Kennel Cough Symptoms: Urgent Warning For Dog Owners As Highly Contagious Disease Spreads

dog owners across the country are being warned of a highly transmissible disease that is spreading among dogs.

Kennel cough, or infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious disease that affects the respiratory system.

The condition is the result of several infectious agents that spread easily anywhere dogs socialize, such as in dog parks or kennels.

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Leading to coughing and dry retching, the condition can be mild but, if left untreated, can progress to severe and in some cases life-threatening conditions.

A spike in disease cases in recent months has put veterinarians and dog owners on alert.

Tegan Hunt, an emergency vet based in Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, warned she had gone from no cases of kennel cough to at least four in one weekend.

In a post on her Instagram page, she explained how a husky caught the disease in a kennel while her family was on vacation.

“She was in a kennel while they were on vacation, then she came home lethargic,” the video read.

“Now she keeps coughing and spitting up phlegm.”

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In the video, the husky’s concerning symptoms are revealed.

The husky is seen repeatedly coughing dryly before coughing up phlegm.

Hunt used this example to remind owners to watch for symptoms and seek medical attention if needed.

Common symptoms

The clinical signs of kennel cough can persist for 10 to 14 days.

Some of these signs include:

  • dry dry cough
  • Gagging or vomiting
  • Discharge from the eye or nose
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Sneeze and sniffle

How is kennel cough transmitted?

Kennel cough can be transmitted during daily activities between dogs, such as sniffing and sharing water bowls.

Experts say any place where dogs congregate and socialize in large numbers, such as dog parks or kennels, can be a potential site of exposure to the disease.

Hunt said affected dogs should self-isolate to prevent the disease from spreading.

Dog owners across the country are being warned of a highly transmissible disease spreading among dogs. Credit: Chalabala/Getty Images/iStockphoto

“This is a highly transmissible disease and affected pets should be isolated until the disease is resolved to prevent other pets from becoming infected,” she said.

Although humans are unlikely to develop symptoms of kennel cough, however, people can pass it on to other dogs through poor hygiene when petting dogs.

How to prevent

Hunt says kennel cough can be prevented through vaccination and avoiding areas recently exposed to the virus.

“We vaccinate against the common agents involved in infectious tracheobronchitis, which is always highly recommended,” she said.

“However, they can still get this disease even if fully vaccinated, much like the flu for humans, but the severity of the disease is reduced.”

Hunt also urged any pet owners who may be concerned to take them to their local veterinarian.

“But, when you arrive for your consultation, call your vet from the parking lot for instructions to avoid transmission to the veterinary clinic,” she said.

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