Some Veterinary info on KENNEL COUGH

One of our members of the JHB Beagle Club is a vet, and has kindly written some articles regarding dogs’ health for us for the website…

I will be posting a new article once a week – so please keep a look out for it, have a read, and circulate to your animal loving friends 🙂




Do you take your beagle to the park, the beach, training or to beagle hunts?


Considering how active beagles are, most of us beagle owners do our best to keep them busy by taking them out and about. For this reason our dogs are at a higher risk of contracting ‘Kennel Cough’ than dogs that spend the majority of their time at home.


Contrary to the common name of the disease this condition is not only contracted when dogs go to the kennel but actually anywhere where dogs come into close contact with other dogs, so for example, dog shows, parks, dog training, grooming parlours and particularly important to us- beagle hunts.


The symptoms of ‘Kennel Cough’ are:

  • Harsh dry cough is the most obvious sign
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild fever
  • Tiredness
  • Can progress to pneumonia
  • Can be more severe in puppies and older dogs



How Is “Kennel Cough” Spread?
This disease is very contagious and can spread rapidly by coughing, sneezing or nose-to-nose contact between dogs


Causes of “Kennel Cough”
The following bacteria and viruses are the main pathogens that contribute to the ‘kennel cough’ complex:

1) Bordetella bronchiseptica
– A bacteria that is the most common cause of kennel cough
-Transmission between dogs and cats is possible.
– Infected animals can shed the bacteria into the environment and  thus serve as a    source of infection for other animals for up to 4 months.

2) Canine parainfluenza virus
3) Canine adenovirus 1 and 2


There are a number of other viruses that can also be involved.



Immunization of your pet is the best protection that can be provided and has proven very effective in reducing the severity of clinical signs, as well as in reducing subsequent shedding of the parainfluenza virus (in dogs) for many years.


Once we have determined that vaccination is appropriate for our cat/dog we need to make sure that the correct product is used. The major consideration involves using an intranasal vaccine or a parenteral (given subcutaneously) vaccine.


Ideally, the vaccine should contain the Parainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica fractions and be an intranasal vaccine. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that intranasal vaccines (Nobivac® KC and IntraTrac® II ADT) have a faster onset of immunity/protection (within 72 hours), can be used in animals from 3 weeks of age (safe), will not interfere with maternal antibodies and do not require a booster 2-4 weeks later (injectable vaccines require that animals return for a booster vaccine after the first inoculation). The vaccine needs to be repeated annually.

Animals that have been successfully vaccinated may still become infected, however, the symptoms experienced will be milder and shorter lived than for those animals not vaccinated. The main reason why animals may still develop clinical signs of respiratory disease is that vaccines protect against the Parainfluenza virus and/or the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria (depending on which vaccine is used). All the other inciting causes of kennel cough in dogs are not covered by the vaccination.




One Response to “ Some Veterinary info on KENNEL COUGH ”

  1. R Evans says:

    Hi. We have a beagle and a labrador who often drink our swimming pool water – from habit. (Despite us leaving fresh water in their bowls) The lab also swims a lot in the pool.
    However, we have had trouble in the past … trying to keep our pool sparkling clean. It has been suggested that we put 5 litres of 50% peroxide into the pool. (No other chemicals will be needed through winter) This will kill off any bacteria, algae etc etc. How harmful will this be to our dogs should they drink this water with in 48 hours or less? Your advice will be appreciated. Thanks..

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