You likely know that winter is cold and flu season for humans, but did you also know that our canine companions get colds, too? Canine cough, or tracheobronchitis (often improperly referred to as kennel cough), is a contagious, upper-respiratory disease most often passed from dog to dog through airborne droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. It can also be transmitted on contaminated surfaces just like human colds are. Help your pets stay healthy by ready on.

Canine Cough Causes

There are three main infectious agents (parainfluenza, adenovirus & Bordatella) responsible for a majority of doggie colds. Routine vaccinations can protect your dog from some of the varieties of these viral and bacterial agents however it is important to note that there are hundreds of varieties out there. Just as our annual flu shot only protects us against several flu strains, vaccinated dogs can still contract other varieties or less severe cases of canine cough. Any dogs with symptoms may be contagious and should be kept at home until symptoms are gone.

Canine Cough Symptoms

Symptoms usually begin three to seven days after exposure and include a hacking cough sometimes accompanied by sneezing and nasal or eye discharge. Unfortunately dogs can also be contagious and infect their buddies prior to showing any symptoms themselves. And just as with our colds, there is no “cure” for tracheobronchitis – it must run its course. Most cases clear up on their own in one to three weeks however in very young or old dogs, secondary infections such as pneumonia can occur. If symptoms become bothersome for your pet, take your pet to a veterinarian who may prescribe cough suppressants or, in some cases, antibiotics.

Healthy Pets Are Happy Pets

Here at Cascade Pet Camp we are taking extra precautions (above and beyond our usual strict cleaning protocols) to slow the transmission of canine cough from dog to dog. Any dog with symptoms is immediately moved into an isolated room, as is any dog that we know has been exposed to the dog showing symptoms. To help ensure that healthy pets stay healthy, we have also temporarily suspended most of our group play sessions in favor of one-on-one play sessions between the campers and staff. And, of course we are spending hours and hours scrubbing and disinfecting.

The good news is that tracheobronchitis, while annoying for us and our dogs, is rarely severe and this current outbreak should run its course within a couple weeks.