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3 Things You Need to Know About Infectious Tracheobronchitis Before You Drop Your Dog Off at the Kennel

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Infectious tracheobronchitis, commonly referred to as kennel cough, infects a higher percentage of dogs than you might think. Sure, you know that your kennel requires that you have your pet vaccinated against kennel cough before you drop them off, but did you know that your dog may still be at risk for contracting kennel cough after receiving a vaccination? Even though all their guests are vaccinated against the infectious disease, boarders are still concerned about kennel cough and work diligently to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak. You can help prevent the likelihood that your dog gets sick by learning all you can about the disease. Following are three things you need to know before you drop your dog off at the kennel. 

It's Like a Cold

Kennel cough occurs after your dog comes into contact with a virus or bacteria. It's very similar to a human cold and just as contagious. It is airborne, so your dog can remain in their kennel the entire time and still get sick. Some of the most common symptoms associated with the disease are coughing, sneezing, runny nose, eye discharge, loss of appetite and fatigue. Like humans, dogs can be more susceptible to catching the disease if they are stressed or worn down. For this reason, it's vital that you don't board your dog if they are overly stressed or weakened by another illness. 

It Goes Away without Treatment

Kennel cough is usually not that serious. While there are medications for the illness, it normally goes away on its own after about three weeks. However, it can linger in dogs that are older or sickened with another disease or disorder. In rare cases, kennel cough can be deadly, especially if the ailing dog contracts a secondary infection, such as pneumonia. 

It is Literally Everywhere

Since dogs are kept in close quarters in a kennel, they may come into contact with and acquire the disease any time they are boarded. They may also come into contact with the disease anywhere there are other dogs, such as the dog park or the veterinarian's office. Your dog may even come into contact with it during their evening walk. Exposure usually helps your dog build up an immunity against the disease. 

Vaccinations against kennel cough are given every twelve months. However, you can vaccinate your dog if you feel they are at a high risk for contracting kennel cough. Risk factors include increased age and compromised immune system. Always make sure your pet is vaccinated against kennel cough before boarding them. Even if you're not going to board them, it's a good idea to get the vaccine since the disease is everywhere. Consider taking your furry friend to a local veterinarian, such as a O'Sullivan Animal Hospital vet, to best prepare them for possible infections.