There are a wide array of illnesses that can affect your dog. One of them is bordetella, which is more commonly known as kennel cough. Your dog is especially at risk for this illness if he or she spends a lot of time with other dogs, such as at a dog park or grooming facility. But even dogs who simply nose with another pet on the sidewalk can sometimes develop kennel cough. As a dog owner, it's important that you know these basics about the condition.
What is bordatella?
Bordetella is a contagious bacterial illness that causes respiratory symptoms in dogs. It's found all around the world, and it's one of the most common diseases to affect dogs. Bordetella is most common in puppies, mostly because their immune systems are not strong enough to fight off the bacteria, but it does affect dogs of all ages.
What are the symptoms of bordetella?
The most obvious symptom is a cough, which is usually high-pitched and dry-sounding. Your dog may also develop watery nasal discharge. Some dogs eat normally and maintain their normal activity levels when they have bordetella, but others become lethargic and lose their appetites.
What should you do if you think your dog has bordetella?
If you suspect this illness, make an appointment with your vet. Bordetella is not considered an emergency, but it is important to have your dog looked over promptly in case the disease progresses to pneumonia, which it sometimes can. Your vet can probably diagnose your dog based on symptoms, but sometimes chest x-rays and urine tests may be administered just to be sure.
How is bordetella treated?
If your vet does find that your dog has bordetella, he or she will likely prescribe antibiotics. This will help your dog's body fight off the infection a lot sooner. Many dogs can recover without antibiotics, and your vet may not recommend antibiotics if your dog has a very mild case of bordetella. Thankfully, the condition is hardly ever deadly; most dogs go on to live perfectly normal lives once they recover.
If you want to protect your dog against bordetella, the best thing you can do is have him or her vaccinated for the disease. The vaccine is an especially good choice for dogs who spend a lot of time at the kennel, at the groomer, or in areas where they come into contact with other dogs. Call Animal Emergency Clinic or your vet for more information.