Kennel cough is a concern for many dog owners, especially those owners whose dogs interact with strangers’ pets on a regular basis. Kennel cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory virus that can last for up to six weeks. Dogs are mostly likely to contract kennel cough in public places, such as dog parks, grooming salons, dog day cares, and dog boarding facilities. Many of these facilities therefore insist that your pet have received the kennel cough vaccine within one year before you request their services.
Kennel cough is not serious in all cases, but depending on your dog’s overall health and whether he has any underlying health concerns, kennel cough could result in severe complications. Symptoms of the virus include sneezing and snorting, as well as a constant dry and hacking cough. Vomiting or gagging when excited, during any form of activity, or when any amount of pressure is put on the windpipe are also symptoms of kennel cough. While some dogs may develop a fever, elevated body temperature is not present in all infected dogs. Also, discharge from the eyes or nose is not usually symptomatic of kennel cough, although it may be cause for concern. If your pet displays any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian for more information.