Homepage Library Common Diseases in Cats and Dogs Canine Parainfluenza (Kennel Cough)

Description. Highly contagious. Also known as “kennel cough,” this virus results from an infection of the respiratory tract with one or more viruses and bacteria, often after exposure to kennels, groomers, dog parks, or dog shows. If not careful, an unvaccinated dog can contract this virus from their own animal hospital.

Causes & Transmission. The most common cause of kennel cough is canine parainfluenza, canine adenovirus 2, bronchiseptica, or a combination of any of these. Developing from a single agent or a mixed infection, kennel cough is spread through the air via close contact and via contact with a contaminated inanimate object (bedding, clothing, toys, etc.).

Clinical Signs. The most common symptom is coughing that often comes in spasms. The cough may be dry and hacking (goose honk) or productive (gagging or coughing up secretions). These signs are sometimes mistaken for something being caught in the dog’s throat. Nasal discharge, fever, decreased appetite, and breathing difficulty may occur in more serious infections.

Diagnostic Testing. There is no specific test for kennel cough. A vaccine and recent clinical history is often key to a diagnosis.

Treatment. Treatment for kennel cough is mainly supportive: often antibiotics and cough suppressants.

Can Humans Get It? No

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