Dogs with kennel cough usually develop a hacking cough (often sounding as though there is something stuck in the dog’s throat), and the affected animals will sometimes cough up white froth. The condition usually comes on quite quickly, and although affected dogs may not have been in kennels, they will usually have been socialising with other dogs in the previous few days.
The cough may worsen with exercise and also, when affected animals pull on the lead. Dogs with kennel cough are often bright or just a bit off colour, however they can have a temperature and may become really poorly.
There is a vaccine against kennel cough which is available at Willows, although it is not part of our routine vaccine regime. The vaccine is administered by squirting it up the nose, so there are no injections, but some dogs find this unpleasant (or at least a surprise!) The vaccine lasts for a year and, like the human flu vaccine, does not completely prevent the possibility of a dog developing an infectious cough, but it does reduce the chances that any such infection will be serious.
Most dogs that go to kennels are required to have the kennel cough vaccine and we would recommend it for dogs going into kennels, even if the kennels do not insist on it. The kennel cough vaccine is also a good idea if your dog regularly socialises or attends classes where he or she has close contact with other dogs.