Infectious Tracheobronchitis

More popularly known as Kennel Cough, Infectious Tracheobronchitis is a highly contagious disease that is spread through airborne droplets.  Infectious Tracheobronchitis spreads freely at boarding facilities, grooming facilities, dog parks – basically any social situation that you may find a dog in.

Like whooping cough in humans, kennel cough is an inflammation of the upper airways.  It is typically a mild disease, but still has the ability to advance into life-threatening pneumonia in puppies.

The signs of Infectious Tracheobronchitis

  • The main clinical sign = a hoarse cough
  • Cough can begin three to ten days after exposure
  • Bouts of severe coughing
  • Loud, high-pitched “honking”
  • Dogs may cough up phlegm, which looks like vomiting
  • Depression, lethargy, and loss of appetite
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes

In order to diagnose kennel cough, we will ask you about recent exposure to infected or susceptible dogs and consider the clinical signs that we are seeing.   The doctor will also palpate the trachea to initiate coughing.  Once diagnosed, most dogs will be prescribed medication to lessen the cough.  It is recommended that infectious dogs be isolated until ALL signs have disappeared to prevent the spreading of the disease.  To avoid most cases of kennel cough, we recommend an annual vaccination that works quickly to immunize dogs, and is proven safe and effective.   Prevention is key!