Kennel cough in dogs is a usually mild and highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs that is caused by several different viruses and bacteria. While it’s not something to be too worried about, it can cause problems for dogs with weakened immune systems.
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In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about kennel cough in Rottweilers, including its causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention so you know what to look for and what to do if your dog has the virus.
What is Kennel Cough?
Also known as canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD), it’s a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs. It’s similar to the common cold in humans and is usually caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria.
Symptoms of kennel cough can vary from mild to severe, and may include a dry, hacking cough, gagging, retching, sneezing, fever, and lethargy. In some cases, the cough can be so severe that it leads to vomiting.
If your Rotweiler has any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Antibiotics and rest are the most common ways to treat kennel cough. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.
Causes of Kennel Cough in Rotweiler
There are a number of viruses and bacteria that can cause the illness, but the most common are canine parainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica.
Canine parainfluenza virus
The most common virus associated with kennel cough, canine parainfluenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs of all ages. It’s typically spread through close contact with other infected dogs, or by sharing contaminated objects like food and water bowls.
Symptoms of canine parainfluenza include a dry, cough, fever, runny nose, and sneezing. In some cases, the virus can lead to pneumonia and other serious respiratory problems.
A bacterium that’s often found in the environment, Bordetella bronchiseptica is one of the most common causes of kennel cough. It’s also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis and it’s usually spread through close contact with other infected dogs or by sharing contaminated objects like food and water bowls.
Symptoms of Bordetella infection are similar to canine parainfluenza. In some cases, the bacteria can lead to pneumonia and other serious respiratory problems.
Other viruses and bacteria that can cause kennel cough include adenovirus type 2, Bordetella parapertussis, mycoplasma cynos, and Streptococcus canis.
Risk Factors for Kennel Cough
Rottweillers that are housed in close quarters, like kennels, shelters, and boarding facilities are at an increased risk for developing the disease. Other risk factors include close contact with other dogs, exposure to contaminated objects, and a weakened immune system.
Dogs that are most at risk of infection are:
- Puppies: Puppies are more susceptible because their immune systems are not fully developed.
- Immuno-compromised dogs: Adult dogs are more likely to develop kennel cough if they have a weakened immune system due to disease or stress.
- Shelter dogs: Dogs that are housed in shelters or rescue organizations are at an increased of infection because of the close quarters and the number of other dogs they’re exposed to.
- Boarding facility dogs: Likewise, dogs that stay in boarding facilities or kennels are at high risk for the same reasons.
Kennel Cough Symptoms
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include a dry, hacking cough, gagging, retching, sneezing, fever, and lethargy. In some cases, the cough can be so severe that it leads to vomiting.
Some symptoms are similar to the canine distemper virus, which is much more serious, so it’s important to take your dog to the vet for a diagnosis.
What to do if your dog contracts Kennel Cough
If your Rotweiler contracts the illness, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. They will be able to prescribe the appropriate course of treatment, which may include antibiotics and rest. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.
Preventing Kennel Cough
There are a number of vaccines available that can help prevent kennel cough, and it’s important to talk to your veterinarian about which ones are right for your dog. In addition, good hygiene practices, like regularly cleaning and disinfecting kennels and other areas where dogs congregate, can help prevention.
How do Rotweilers catch Kennel Cough?
It’s most often spread through close contact with other infected dogs, or by sharing contaminated objects like food and water bowls. The virus can also be spread through the air, so even if your dog isn’t in close contact with another infected dog, they can still contract the virus.
Common places dogs can catch kennel cough include:
Is Kennel Cough dangerous?
While it’s usually a mild illness in healthy dogs, it can lead to more serious respiratory problems like pneumonia in some cases. Young puppies and dogs with weakened immune systems are most at risk for developing complications from kennel cough.
Can Kennel Cough be fatal?
In rare cases, it can be fatal. It can lead to more serious respiratory problems like pneumonia in dogs with weakened immune systems.
What are the stages of Kennel Cough?
The incubation period for kennel cough is usually 3-10 days, and the illness typically lasts 7-10 days. In severe cases, the illness can last for several weeks.
How long is an infected dog contagious?
An infected dog can be contagious for up to 3 weeks, even after they start showing improvement. For this reason, it’s important to keep your dog away from other dogs until they’ve been cleared by a veterinarian.
Caring for my dog with Kennel Cough?
If your dog has kennel cough, it’s important to make sure they get plenty of rest, limit their activity, and provide them with plenty of fluids. In some cases, your veterinarian may also prescribe antibiotics or cough suppressants.
Can my dog get kennel cough twice?
Yes, your Rottweiler can get kennel cough more than once. However, most dogs that contract the illness will develop immunity to it and will not get it again. Also, if your dog is vaccinated, they are less likely to get it again.
Tips for keeping your Rottweiler healthy and preventing the spread of disease
There are a number of things you can do to help keep your dog healthy and prevent the spread of disease:
- Make sure your dog is up to date on their vaccinations, including kennel cough vaccine.
- Keep your dog away from sick dogs. If you know another dog has kennel cough, avoid taking your dog around them.
- Clean and disinfect anything your dog comes in contact with, like bedding, bowls, and toys.
- Wash your hands after handling your dog or their belongings.
- If your dog is sick, take them to the veterinarian right away. Do not take them to places where they could spread the illness to other dogs, like dog parks or dog daycares.
Where does the name Kennel Cough come from?
The name “kennel cough” comes from the fact that the illness is often spread in places where dogs congregate, like kennels, shelters, and daycare facilities. Kennel cough is also sometimes called Bordetella, after the bacteria that causes it. However, kennel cough can also be caused by other viruses, so the name is really a catch-all term for any respiratory illness that’s spread in places where dogs congregate.
Kennel cough is a common respiratory illness in dogs that can be caused by a number of different viruses and bacteria. It’s usually a mild illness, but it can lead to more serious problems in some cases. Kennel cough is most often spread through close contact with other infected dogs, or by sharing contaminated objects like food and water bowls. The best way to prevent kennel cough is to make sure your dog is up to date on their vaccinations, including the kennel cough vaccine. You should also keep your dog away from sick dogs, and clean and disinfect anything they come in contact with. If your dog does get sick, take them to the veterinarian right away.
While it can lead to more serious problems, generally speaking, kennel cough is usually mild and with the right care, your dog will recover quickly.