There are currently a high number of kennel cough cases in London – so here are the symptoms you need to look out for.

Blue Cross for pets has issued some advice for if you’re worried your dog might have kennel cough – as it has reported the high number of cases.

Kennel cough is the common name given to infectious bronchitis in dogs.

A number of different bacteria and viruses can cause it, and it affects their respiratory system.

Is kennel cough dangerous?

Kennel cough is not usually dangerous and normally clears up without treatment within a few weeks.

The infection is unlikely to make a dog ill – apart from them coughing.

Puppies, elderly dogs and those with existing medical conditions can be susceptible to complications though, such as pneumonia.

Depending on the germs which have caused the virus, some strains of the infection can also be more severe than others.

What are the symptoms?

In most cases, dogs with kennel cough will appear healthy apart from coughing.

Some dogs will have a runny nose, sneezing or eye discharge.

They should retain their appetite.

How can I prevent it?

A kennel cough vaccine is available and is often required for a stay in kennels where the infection can spread easily.

Some of the infections that can cause kennel cough are included in the basic vaccinations dogs need to have as a puppy, and subsequent boosters.

he nasal vaccine for Bordetella bronchiseptica can be given when your dog is as young as three weeks, with it providing protection for about 12 months.

It takes four days for it to become effective, and is considered the fastest method of providing immunity.

Is kennel cough contagious?

Kennel cough is airborne and can also be transmitted with bacteria on toys, food bowls or other shared objects.

Kennel cough is a highly contagious infection that can spread easily.

It has an incubation period of two to 14 days.

Certain situations and environments leave them more vulnerable to illness – these include stress caused by crowded environments, exposure to heavy dust or cigarette smoke, cold temperatures and poor ventilation.

How is kennel cough diagnosed?

If a dog has symptoms and has been exposed to a crowd of other dogs within the incubation period, they will usually be diagnosed with kennel cough.

Swabs can be taken to determine the exact virus or bacteria causing kennel cough.

Always phone a vet for advice if you are worried and advise the clinic that your dog has been coughing.

It is generally a good idea to keep your dog away from other dogs while they are coughing.

Is there a treatment for kennel cough?

Dogs will recover without treatment within three weeks but it can linger for anything up to six weeks.

Make sure your home is well ventilated and avoid usinga collar or lead to aid recovery.

Can a dog get kennel cough twice?

Yes as there are many different strains.

If a dog has contracted the Bordetella bronchispetica strain, they will typically be immune to reinfection for six to 12 months.

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