How Long Is a Dog Contagious With Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs. It is commonly spread in places where dogs gather, such as boarding facilities, dog parks, and grooming salons. If your dog has been diagnosed with kennel cough, you may be wondering how long they will remain contagious and what precautions you should take. In this article, we will explore the duration of canine contagiousness and provide answers to some frequently asked questions about kennel cough.
The contagious period for kennel cough can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the individual dog’s immune response. Generally, a dog with kennel cough can remain contagious for up to two weeks after the onset of symptoms. However, in some cases, dogs may continue to shed the bacteria or virus for several weeks even after they have recovered.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the contagiousness of kennel cough:
1. Can my dog spread kennel cough if they have been vaccinated?
Yes, even vaccinated dogs can contract and spread kennel cough. Vaccination reduces the severity of the infection but does not guarantee full immunity.
2. How is kennel cough transmitted?
Kennel cough is airborne and can spread through respiratory droplets. It can also be transmitted through direct contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
3. Can humans contract kennel cough?
It is extremely rare for humans to contract kennel cough. The infection primarily affects dogs and, occasionally, cats.
4. Should I keep my dog isolated during the contagious period?
Yes, it is advisable to isolate your dog during the contagious period to prevent spreading the infection to other dogs. Avoid visiting crowded places until your dog has fully recovered.
5. Can kennel cough be treated with antibiotics?
Kennel cough can be caused by both bacteria and viruses. Antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections but are not effective against viruses. However, they may be prescribed to prevent secondary bacterial infections.
6. When should I seek veterinary care for my dog with kennel cough?
If your dog’s symptoms worsen, they develop a high fever, become lethargic, or show signs of respiratory distress, it is essential to seek veterinary care immediately.
7. How can I prevent my dog from contracting kennel cough?
Vaccination is the best preventive measure against kennel cough. Additionally, avoiding exposure to infected dogs and maintaining good hygiene practices, such as regular handwashing and disinfection of surfaces, can help reduce the risk of infection.
In conclusion, a dog with kennel cough can be contagious for up to two weeks after the onset of symptoms. It is crucial to take precautions to prevent the spread of the infection and seek veterinary care if necessary. Vaccination and good hygiene practices are essential for preventing kennel cough.