Often nicknamed Kennel Cough is an inflammation of the windpipe (trachea) and lung air passages. There are many causes including irritation, bacteria, and viruses. It can be highly transmissible from one dog to another. It does not affect the cat or humans.
Your pet may show no signs of illness except a harsh, deep cough. It can come on suddenly or be the result of other Respiratory Infections. This occurs many times after a dog has been kenneled for a few days. While kenneled away from home, many dogs do a lot of barking which irritates the throat making it more susceptible to developing bronchitis. Many times, bronchitis may start from tonsillitis. Often gagging or vomiting mucus from the throat is seen by the owner.
With treatment, recovery is usually complete. Medications may be needed for several weeks. Complete recovery often takes SIX WEEKS!
Medication must be individualized to your pets particular needs. Many times we must start antibiotics for the bacterial infection, and let the dog cough for a week or two to remove the mucus. If the cough reflex is stopped too soon, pneumonia can develop from mucus that accumulates in the lungs.
We must treat the bacterial infection before totally attempting to stop the cough. The problem is that every time the dog coughs, it prevents healing of the lining of the respiratory tract which in turns causes more coughing.
Remember it often takes six weeks for the dog to completely recover.