How Do Vets Treat Kennel Cough?


When your dog starts coughing after having spent time with other dogs, the first diagnosis that probably comes to mind is kennel cough. Typically caused by an airborne bacterium known as Bordetella, kennel cough can make your dog sound really sick. Thankfully, though, kennel cough is quite easy for vets to treat, and most dogs have a good outcome with treatment. You should take your dog to the vet as soon as you suspect it has kennel cough. Here are the treatments your vet will likely recommend.


This is the key treatment given for kennel cough. Since it is a bacterial infection, the antibiotics will help kill the bacteria, giving your dog's body a head start at recovery. Generally, the vet will prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic just in case your dog has started to develop a secondary respiratory infection with another type of bacteria, too. Usually, the vet will give your dog the first dose in-office, and then they'll have you continue to give the medication either once or twice per day for a week or so. 


If your dog has a lot of congestion and is struggling to breathe freely, then the vet may recommend having them sit in a room with a vaporizer. Don't use any essential oils or other additives in the vaporizer unless your vet specifically instructs you to do so because many of these products are harmful to dogs. If you don't have a vaporizer, you can instead turn the shower on hot, close the door, and let your dog sit in the steamy room for half an hour or so. This will loosen mucous and make it easier for your dog to breathe.

Pain Relievers

Sometimes a vet may also prescribe pain relievers. These will ease any throat soreness, which can help break the cycle of coughing and throat irritation. The pain relievers can also make your dog more comfortable eating and drinking, which will help ensure they don't become dehydrated. When they are eating and drinking properly, they're likely to recover faster. You should only need to give the dog pain relievers for a few days.

Kennel cough tends to sound worse than it is. With vet care, your dog should recover. After they are well, consider having them vaccinated for kennel cough to reduce their risk of contracting it again. For more information on treating and prevent kennel cough, contact a veterinary clinic near you, such as Clovis Veterinary Hospital P A.


20 July 2021

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