Can A Dog Die From Kennel Cough?

Feb 17, 2023 | New

A dog coughing is never a good thing. If your dog has been coughing, there is a good chance he may have a kennel cough. Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease affecting dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. If your dog has been coughing, it’s important to take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

This blog post will answer all the most common questions pet owners have about kennel cough. We will cover everything from what it is to how to treat it. So if you are worried about your dog’s health, keep reading! Keep reading for more information about this nasty respiratory infection!

About Kennel Cough

About Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs. It is caused by many different bacteria and viruses. These organisms often attack the upper respiratory system of a dog, causing inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. It can spread through contact with other dogs or aerosolized particles, such as dust and dirt.

A dog with kennel cough will typically have a dry or hacking cough. The dog may also make gagging or retching sounds when coughing. It is important to note that dogs may also be coughing due to other respiratory problems, such as tracheal collapse or bronchitis. Kennel cough is a common dog illness, so it is important to know the signs and symptoms.

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Is Kennel Cough Contagious?

zIs Kennel Cough Contagious?

Kennel cough is highly contagious and can spread from dog to dog. It is important to leave your dog at home if they have kennel cough to avoid infecting other dogs. Most dogs will be infectious for two weeks after the initial onset of symptoms, although some may remain infectious for up to three weeks. But t is advisable that your dog stays indoors for up to six weeks for complete recovery.

Also, the incubation period for canine infectious respiratory disease is usually between three and ten days. This means that after the dog has been exposed to the bacteria or virus, it will take up to ten days before symptoms start showing. Symptoms can include a dry hacking cough, gagging or retching noises when coughing, nasal discharge, fever, and loss of appetite.

Kennel Cough Symptoms

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Persistent Dry Or Hacking Cough: A dog with kennel cough will have a persistent, dry, or hacking cough. This is the most common symptom of kennel cough and can be very noticeable.

Gagging/Retching: A dog may also make gagging or retching sounds when coughing.

Runny Nose And Eyes: Another sign of kennel cough is a runny nose and eyes.

Sneezing: A dog may also sneeze due to kennel cough.

Loss Of Appetite: Dogs with kennel cough may also lose their appetite.

Fever: A dog may also have a fever if he has a kennel cough.

Lethargy: A dog with kennel cough may also be more lethargic than usual. This means your furry friend may not have the same energy or enthusiasm as usual.

Nasal Discharge: Dogs with kennel cough may also have nasal discharge.

Causes Of Kennel Cough

Causes Of Kennel Cough


The main cause of kennel cough is infection. Dogs can be infected with a variety of bacteria and viruses, including Bordetella Bronchiseptica (the most common cause of kennel cough), Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPIV), Canine Adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2), Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), and Canine Influenza Virus (CIV).


A dog may also develop kennel cough due to stress or anxiety. This can occur if the dog has been in an unfamiliar environment, such as a kennel or dog daycare.

Exposure To Other Dogs

A healthy dog can become infected with kennel cough by coming into contact with another infected dog. This is why it is so important to practice good hygiene and keep your dog away from other dogs that are coughing.

Unsanitary Conditions

Unsanitary conditions, such as dog kennels or overcrowded dog parks, can also cause a dog to become infected with kennel cough.

Exposure To Irritants

Exposure to irritants, such as cigarette smoke, can also cause kennel cough.

Poor Ventilation

Poor ventilation can cause bacteria to grow in an enclosed space, leading to kennel cough. Especially if the place is packed with other dogs and not regularly cleaned and disinfected.

Diagnosing Kennel Cough

Diagnosing Kennel Cough

The only way to know for sure if your dog has kennel cough is to take him to the veterinarian for a diagnosis. Your dog’s veterinarian will ask questions about your dog’s symptoms and listen to his chest with a stethoscope.

If needed, they may also take a sample of the dog’s phlegm or mucus from his nose. This sample can be checked in a lab for any signs of infectious organisms. In some cases, chest X-rays may also be used to confirm the diagnosis.

It is important to note that kennel cough can often be misdiagnosed as a cold or other respiratory infection.

Kennel Cough Treatment

Kennel Cough Treatment

In most cases, kennel cough can be treated with antibiotics and supportive care. If your dog has been diagnosed with kennel cough, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection. They may also suggest some other treatments, such as rest, fluids, and a diet that is easy to digest. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions and give your dog all prescribed medications. The dog should also be in a stress-free environment to help him recover quickly. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed to reduce the inflammation in the dog’s airway.

Also, treatment for kennel cough may vary depending on the severity of the dog’s cough. For mild cases, supportive care such as rest and fluids is usually sufficient. Your dog should be kept away from other dogs until it completely recovers. They need to be isolated for at least 14 days, or even longer, in case of more severe infection from other dogs. Pet parents can use a humidifier or place the pup in a shower-steamed bathroom several times daily to provide soothing relief.

In more severe cases, supportive treatments are often needed, such as cough suppressants; steroids to help with the inflammation of the airways and improve breathing, and antibiotics such as Clavamox and Baytril to help treat secondary bacterial infections. In some cases, oxygen therapy may also be recommended.

Can A Dog Die From Kennel Cough?

Yes, a dog can die from kennel cough. In most cases, it is treatable and will not cause serious health problems. However, if left untreated, the dog is liable to develop pneumonia kennel cough or other complications that can be fatal. It is therefore important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible if you think your dog has kennel cough.

Also, dogs can contract kennel cough more than once. This is because the disease is caused by multiple microorganisms and immune systems vary from dog to dog. Additionally, some of these organisms may resist the dog’s body defenses. That’s why it is important to vaccinate your dog against kennel cough. Vaccinations can help protect your dog from contracting kennel cough.

Can Kennel Cough Be Prevented?

Yes, kennel cough can be prevented. Vaccination is the best way to prevent kennel cough in dogs. It is important to talk to your veterinarian about what type of kennel cough vaccine is right for your dog and how often it should be given. Additionally, good hygiene practices such as keeping your dog away from other dogs who may be coughing and regular cleaning and disinfecting of dog kennels and parks are essential in preventing the spread of kennel cough. Lastly, reducing stress levels can also help decrease your dog’s risk of kennel cough. Taking your dog for regular walks, playing with him regularly, and providing lots of socialization opportunities can help reduce stress levels and keep your dog healthy.

Other Reasons Why Your Dog Is Coughing

Other Reasons Why Your Dog Is Coughing

Apart from kennel cough, a few other conditions can cause a dog to cough. These include:

Allergies: Dogs can have allergies to different environmental substances that can cause them to cough. These include dust, pollen, and mold spores.

Heartworm Disease: If your dog is infected with heartworms, it may cough due to the blockage in its lungs.

Respiratory Tract Infection: Dogs can also develop infections in their respiratory tract that can cause them to cough.

Lung Cancer: Coughing can be an early symptom of lung cancer in dogs.

Foreign Objects In The Airway: Dogs may cough if they have inhaled a foreign object, such as a stick or piece of food.

Heart Disease: Dogs with heart disease may cough due to fluid buildup in their lungs.

Tracheal Collapse: Certain dog breeds are prone to tracheal collapse, which can cause them to cough.

In addition to these conditions, many other causes of dog coughing could be due to underlying health issues. If your dog is coughing, it is important to take it to the vet for a thorough examination. This way, you can determine the cause of your dog’s coughing and get him started on proper treatment if necessary.

More Tips For Caring For A Dog With Kennel Cough

If your dog has kennel cough, there are a few things you can do to help him through his recovery.

Provide Plenty Of Rest: Make sure your dog gets plenty of rest and is in a quiet environment while he recovers.

Keep The Dog Away From Other Dogs: While your dog is recovering, it is important to try to keep him away from other dogs to help prevent the spread of kennel cough.

Give Prescribed Medications: Make sure you give your dog any medications prescribed by the vet to help with recovery.

Increase Water Intake: Encourage your dog to drink plenty of water, which can help reduce coughing.

Keep The Dog Warm: Ensure your dog is kept warm, as this can also help reduce coughing.

Regular Exercise: Once your dog has recovered from kennel cough, it is important it gets regular exercise to help build up its immune system and keep it healthy.

Proper Hygiene: Make sure to practice dog hygiene to help prevent the spread of kennel cough and other dog illnesses.



Kennel cough is a highly contagious dog illness that can be prevented with proper vaccinations and hygiene practices. It is important to talk to your veterinarian about what vaccine is right for your dog and how often it should be given. Additionally, it is important to practice good dog hygiene to help prevent the spread of kennel cough and other dog illnesses. Lastly, if your dog contracts kennel cough, it is important to follow the advice of your vet and provide your dog with plenty of rest while recovering. Taking these precautions can help keep your dog safe and healthy!

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