Bordetella / Kennel Cough


What is Bordetella and what is Kennel Cough?  Did you know your cat or kitten can contract kennel cough? Sadly, yes, it is true, your cat or kitten can contract kennel cough.

Technically Kennel Cough is a term used to depict a multitude of highly contagious respiratory illness. Typically, one would expect to see kennel cough in dogs that are exposed in kennel or day-care type of environment. However, Bordetella or Kennel Cough if you will can be contracted at the dog park, lake or many other places.  Kennel cough itself is generally not fatal, but can lead to fatal bronchopneumonia in puppies and chronic bronchitis in senior or immunocompromised dogs. Bordatella can affect cats and kittens.

Kennel cough which is scientifically known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, can be spread from dog to dog through aerosol or respiratory droplets, through direct contact, or by contact with contaminated surfaces such as food and water bowls, kennel runs as well as toys.

Cats and kittens can contract Bordetella through the same manner, through infected respiratory droplets, through the same direct contact, or by coming in contact with the same contaminated surfaces as well as food and water bowls.

The most distinctive sign or symptom that your dog has contracted kennel cough is the loud, unmistakable honking cough that your dog develops with the disease. Additional symptoms your dog may experience with kennel cough sneezing as well as a runny nose, lethargy, loss of appetite as well as a low-grade fever. However, the symptoms of Bordetella / Kennel Cough are very similar those of canine influenza virus as well as canine distemper.  Both of are more serious than Kellen cough. Please you’re your veterinarian and discuss the symptoms your dog is experiencing.

Fortunately, Kennel Cough is very treatable in dogs.  Upon a visit to your veterinarian, he or she may prescribe an antibiotic for any secondary infections of kennel cough along with rest and may also prescribe a cough medicine depending upon the severity of the infection.

Kennel Cough / Bordetella vaccine is given annually and may require a booster. Many boarding facilities require proof of vaccination before allowing your dog to be boarded in an attempt to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Although Bordetella is the most common cause of kennel cough in dogs, it is not the only one. Other bacteria and viruses, including the parainfluenza virus, may also cause kennel cough. Therefore, this means that even vaccinated dogs can get kennel cough originating from another sources. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of kennel cough, even if your dog has had the Bordetella vaccination.

In kittens however, Kennel Cough / Bordetella can be deadly. One of the most visible signs of kennel cough or Bordetella in cats is the is the unpleasant dry hacking cough which is often followed up by retching.  Other symptoms your cat will experience with Bordetella is sneezing, a runny nose with listlessness, loss of appetite as well as a low-grade fever.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, veterinary care, diagnosis, treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Never disregard professional veterinary advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen on our website.


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