Kennel Cough: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Kennel Cough is very common and, once diagnosed by a professional, can be treated with the use pharmaceuticals, naturopathic methods or a combination of the two.

When your dog coughs a deep, honking, raspy sounding cough, it can be very concerning and even frightening. This sound could indicate Kennel Cough. Kennel Cough is very common and, once diagnosed by a professional, can be treated with the use pharmaceuticals, naturalistic methods or a combination of the two. Knowing the symptoms, treatment and prevention of Kennel cough will help your dog should he be exposed.

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What is Kennel Cough?

It is a contagious upper respiratory infection that can be brought on by both a virus or exposure to a bacterial infection. It can be airborne or spread through direct contact with, including licking and sniffing, an infected surface. The “honking” noise occurs when there is inflammation around the larynx.

NOTE: The effects of Kennel cough can be much more serious for a senior dog or a puppy as their immune systems are not as strong.

I am neither a veterinarian nor a medical professional. The information in this article has been researched and sourced at the end of the post if required. All safety and medical issues or questions regarding your pet’s health or symptoms should always be brought to the attention of your veterinarian for clarification, assessment, advice and treatment.

What are the symptoms of Kennel Cough?

Along with the nasty cough, there can be a number of other cold-like symptoms. Your doggo might sneeze or have a runny nose. He could also have runny eyes, a low-grade fever, lethargy and a reduced appetite. Basically, all the symptoms humans exhibit when they have a bad cold. If left untreated, the symptoms can become more severe and ultimately lead to pneumonia – or worse. These symptoms can last up to 7 weeks, even longer if it’s a puppy or a senior dog. Even after the symptoms have cleared, your dog can be a carrier for several weeks.

How is Kennel cough transmitted?

Kennel cough is generally spread in areas where multiple dogs gather. This includes doggy daycares, shelters, boarding locations and even dog parks. When a dog that is carrying the virus coughs or sneezes the germs are released into the air. Poor ventilation can cause the airborne particles to spread quickly from dog to dog. In the case of the dog park, from nose to nose contact.

Treating Kennel Cough

The pharmaceutical methods typically include antibiotics to clear the infection and veterinary cough medicine to ease the symptoms and make your dog comfortable. Some natural methods include using a humidifier, honey and chicken soup. A humidifier will moisturize the air which can help to reduce the dry cough. Honey has natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to treat the symptoms. The honey will also coat the throat, minimizing the irritation which lessens the desire to cough. Chicken soup, as with humans, can sooth the throat while helping to reinforce the immune system. (Please make the soup from scratch or use sodium-free packaged soup.)

Preventing Kennel Cough

Prevention is largely done by isolating the dogs that have been exposed to the virus. When selecting a daycare or boarding facility, do some investigating to be sure that they do not have a current outbreak and that they have proper ventilation to reduce the risk of transmission should one of the other dogs be a carrier. The Bordetella vaccine is available to help fight the bacteria that, combined with the virus, results in kennel cough. There are different ways of administering the vaccine; orally, through nose drops or by injection.

You should always discuss the best prevention and treatment options for your individual pet with your vet.

Best Skunk Smell Removal Recipe for Dogs

Every day I see someone posting about their dog being skunked and asking for suggestions about the best skunk smell removal recipe. I have been fortunate so far, and have not had to deal with this situation with my pup, but when I opened my patio door late last night to let him out and saw the little white stripe waddling away from me, pointing straight up, I realized that this is probably something I should be prepared for. I went looking for the best skunk smell removal options and came up with only a handful of suggestions.

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The most expensive (and impractical at midnight) was to take the dog to a vet or groomer for a professional cleaning. This can be very costly and would mean that we would have to wait until the establishment opens. Most incidents happen between sundown and sunrise, leaving us to care for our pet, at least initially, on our own.

So here is the scenario: It’s midnight, I let my pup out before bed and he comes back smelling like Pepe le Pew.

What do I do?

According to the cyber authorities, including veterinarians and the Humane Society, here is the best process to follow: 

1)  Keep the dog outside if possible. If you have to bring him in, isolate the dog to one room. Close the doors and open the windows. Keeping the smell confined to one area as quickly as possible will reduce the work you have to do later to remove the skunk smell from your home.

2)  Immediately flush the dog’s eyes, nose and mouth with a lot of cool water to remove any spray. The skunk oil can permanently damage the eyes and, if swallowed, can cause the dog to become nauseated or vomit. The spray can actually burn the skin on the face due to the sulfur content. It is highly recommended that you have your dog assessed by a vet immediately if the spray is directed at the dog’s face.

Skunk Smell Removal Recipe Ingredients

3) Prepare this Skunk Smell Removal recipe:

Mix the following ingredients in a bucket or bowl:

4)  Wearing gloves, use a cup pour the mixture on your dog’s dry fur, AVOIDING THE FACE COMPLETELY, and massage it in until it lathers. Continue to add the solution until the affected area has been covered. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the mixture out of the fur using plenty of cool water. Be sure to rinse away from the head to avoid dripping forward into the face.

FOR THE DOG’S FACE:  

Using a sponge, you can carefully rub small amounts of the mixture in to the fur, avoiding the eyes, nose and mouth and then rinse with plenty of cool water. It is not recommended to leave the mixture on the dog’s face as it may be harmful.

CAUTION:

This mixture can cause bleaching of the dog’s fur as it is made with peroxide. A dark colored dog may have color changes to fur.

5) Towel dry your dog. Using a hair dryer will only revive the smell. 6) Dispose of any left-over solution. It cannot be stored as it can develop explosive properties if sealed. Although there will immediately be a significant improvement using this recipe, sometimes it may have to be applied more than once, depending on the severity of the spray and the thickness of the fur.

If you live in an area that has a significant skunk population, it is advisable to go out with your dog in the high risk times. This way you can keep him from chasing skunks and being sprayed. It is also a good idea to be sure you have the basic ingredients from this recipe on hand, just in case!