Kennel Cough

My Two Cents About Kennel Cough...
Kennel Cough is highly contagious and can be carried by you to your dog on shoes and clothing.  Asymptomatic dogs can carry it and give it to other dogs.  Stress makes it worse and brings it out.  A dog can be well today, sick tomorrow!

Usually Kennel Cough is self limited, like the common cold.  However, there are many bacteria and viruses that look like Kennel Cough and can have more serious sequellae.  The dog can get a colored mucous discharge from the nose (sinusitis) that needs treatment.  The dog can get pneumonia.  Finally, the dog can get a chronic cough that may persist for YEARS.  With this in mind, I treat it aggressively.

Number 1:  BEGIN ANTIBIOTICS:  Since we don't know what we are treating, I would start with Amoxicillin or Clavamox.  Other antibiotics that can work are: amoxicillin, clavamox,  Keflex, and a fluoroquinalone like Baytril.  Even though studies in dogs resulted in joint deformities, these drugs are widely used in dogs in brief and reasonable doses and I have never seen a problem.  Give one adult dose per day for a 10 lb. dog.  Baytril 25 mg, keflex 250mg. amoxil 250mg.   Some of these require prescriptions.

I have also had good results with injected Baytril.  It does require an intramuscular injection dose and a prescription from a vet.

But here's the REAL SECRET...  START THE DOG IMMEDIATELY ON PREDNISONE.  Prednisone is a steroid, which is used to decrease the respiratory inflammation.  I would start with 10mg a day, back off to 5mg a day, and when symptoms resolve, taper with 5mg every other day two more times.  I would keep a stock bottle of Prednisone 10mg on hand all the time.  It is on the Walmart $4 list.  Dogs tolerate it very well over the short term. 

Prednsione or dexamethasone does require a prescription but you can suggest it to your vet.

It can make them very hungry and then very fat, so if you are free choice feeding, you may want to meal feed.


Mar 13 2014 8:04 PM