Kennel cough is a highly infectious disease which affects the respiratory system of dogs. It is common in rehoming centres and boarding kennels where large numbers of dogs are kept together.
Kennel cough spreads between dogs when they sneeze and can be carried on toys, food bowls, people and crates. A few dogs may carry the disease and spread infection after coughing has ceased.
In most cases your dog will overcome the disease with their own immunity. You can make your dog more comfortable by limiting their exercise and replacing their collar with a harness.
If your dog is showing signs of illness such as lethargy or loss of appetite, you should take them to a vet so they can decide if treatment is necessary.
If your dog is more severely affected, they may be given antibiotics to prevent secondary infection and the possible spread of disease to the lungs.
Kennel cough vaccinations are available from your vet. Vaccination may be of limited effect due to the complex nature of the disease. Unfortunately it’s impossible to completely eradicate kennel cough from a rescue centre environment.