What is it?
Canine cough is caused by several viruses and bacteria, the most common being Parainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Canine cough is a highly contagious disease which causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. This virus is spread through air, contact of contaminated surfaces and is spread quickly to animals in close contact.

Although there is a vaccine against Parainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica, vaccinated dogs can still contract and spread the virus. In vaccinated dogs symptoms are generally not as severe and the course of the disease is shorter. Veterinary attention is recommended for all cases.

Your pet should be confined to your property with no walking and limited contact with other dogs. Confinement should last at least a week after the symptoms have stopped.

Is it in Singleton ?
Yes, it’s very common. We see cases most weeks. We generally ask clients to leave their pets in the car if they are coming in with canine cough symptoms so it doesn’t spread to hospital cases. If we suspect a case has been into the building or grounds we disinfect everything. But, most of our clients vaccinate, so we don’t have a problem. The lesson is – vaccinate at the vets and your dog in Singleton will be fine.

Symptoms
Symptoms generally appear two to three days after exposure and an infected animal can still spread this virus days and weeks after their symptoms resolve. In some cases, this disease can lead to pneumonia. Listed below are the symptoms which an infected dog may show:

  • Harsh, dry/hacking cough
  • Retching
  • Sneezing
  • Snorting
  • Gagging
  • Vomiting, generally after excitement or exercise
  • Fever

Symptoms vary from case to case and are generally not as intense if your pet has been vaccinated against the disease. Symptoms generally last 10-20 days but can relapse if a dog is put into a stressful situation during the recovery period.

Diagnosis
A diagnosis is made by symptoms the dog is showing, history of the pet and eliminating any other possible cause for coughing.

Treatment
Treatment involves the use of antibiotics and cough suppressants. Cough suppressants only at night so your pet can cough up mucus during the day. The course of antibiotics should always be finished, even if the symptoms have stopped and the cough syrup should be used only when your pet is coughing.

About the author: Megan Reilly

Megan is a Veterinary Nurse Technician - the highest qualification available to Veterinary Nurses in Australia, Megan has a fun loving spirit and brings a positive energy to Heights Pet Hospital. She is a talented nurse who has a love for all patients and is continuously updating our processes and procedures, always finding a better or more effective way. She has been at the hospital since its opening in 2011 and in the veterinary industry since 2000, starting out as a kennel hand and then completing veterinary nursing cert IV in 2006. She has also undertaken additional study, gaining her qualification as a Veterinary Nurse Technician in 2015.

Megan runs our puppy school classes and has a special interest in canine behaviour. She continues to give back to the industry with her dedication to training new veterinary nurses and work experience students.

Megan has Trevor, a black domestic short hair cat with a penchant for extravagant bow ties! and Howard, a fiesty Border-Terrier.

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