Kennel cough is a highly contagious, upper respiratory tract infection of the dogs that affects lungs, windpipe and voice box. Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, the condition causes the lining of the trachea and bronchi to become inflamed and when air passes over them it results in an irritating cough.
A highly contagious condition, Kennel cough is so named because the infection can spread quickly among dogs in the close quarters of a kennel or animal shelter. This respiratory disorder is caused by various viruses and bacteria, working singularly or in combination. Transfer of causative virus and/or bacteria occurs through airborne droplets produced by coughing and sneezing. Contact with contaminated surface can also tranfer the disease to other non-infected dogs.
Although this condition can affect any dog of any age and sex, young puppies are more prone due to their immature immune system which is still under developed. Old dogs are also susceptible to this condition due to decrease in their immune system.
This disease is found throughout the world and is known to infect a very high percentage of dogs at least once during their lifetime.
Common symptoms may include harsh, dry cough, retching, sneezing, snorting, gagging and vomiting. The presence of fever, lethargy, anorexia and pneumonia varies from case to case.