Care for your pet like Vince the Vet

'Kennel Cough' is so named because it is an upper respiratory infection which passes between dogs when in close proximity, such as kennels. (Also in daycare centres, vet clinics, grooming salons, dog shows, training classes and parks / walks popular with dog parents.)

Transmission occurs, when droplets containing the microbes concerned, are inhaled.

Infection typically inflames the pharynx, larynx, tonsils and upper respiratory tract, giving ride to a ticklish, honking cough - which sounds as though something is stuck in the throat. Affected dogs however, usually have a good appetite and swallow food without difficulty, which indicates there is no obstruction. 

White, frothy, meringue-like fluid is often expectorated at the end of a coughing episode.

Signs typically persist for 7-14 days, although for some dogs it may be much longer, if they are immunocompromised for any reason. This may occur for example, if long-term drugs such as steroids, Apoquel or Atopica are being given.

As long as a dog remains bright, their appetite is good, and no other signs develop, giving a teaspoon of Manuka Honey four times daily helps to soothe the throat. A little honey can also be given immediately after a bout of coughing, to ease irritation.

Giving Immunity at double the suggested daily amount often significantly shortens the recovery period, and helps prevent any complications such as pneumonia developing.

If at any stage appetite is lost, or the expectorate turns green, yellow or any other colour, then it is best to promptly seek veterinary treatment.

Finally, infected dogs should be kept away from all others, until they have been fully back to normal for 4-5 days.