Our expert says:
Kennel cough is a highly contagious form of infection of the airways. It can be caused by bacteria or viruses, and the resultant disease will be virtually indistinguishable.
It causes harsh and very loud and persistent coughing, of sudden onset. They may or may not have fever and eye discharge. They can get it from any other sick or carrier dog, just like we catch a cold.
It is usually treated using antibiotics and possibly cough suppressants. It can be prevented to a great extent (but not completely) by vaccinations. Coughing may last anything from days to weeks, and will need special attention especially if the patient loses its appetite, other cough becomes moist or it is running a fever.
Dogs can get kennel cough even if they do not go to a kennel. The cough can persist for about 2 weeks. Sometimes a cough suppressant is needed and in some cases antibiotics as well. We usually prefer to treat these animals with antibiotics to prevent them developing pneumonia. Most of them recover sooner from the disease if they are on antibiotics.
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