Kennel cough is common in dogs but, can still be concerning when you discover that your fluffy Pomeranian is not feeling well.
In this article, I share everything you need to know about kennel cough.
- Understanding Kennel Cough
- Symptoms of Kennel Cough in Pomeranians
- Diagnosing Kennel Cough
- Treatment Options for Kennel Cough
- Preventing Kennel Cough
- Risk Factors and Complications
- Home Care for Pomeranians with Kennel Cough
- Potential Environmental Triggers
- Frequently Asked Questions
Understanding Kennel Cough
Kennel cough, also known as tracheobronchitis or infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs. It is caused by a combination of bacteria and viruses, including Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine influenza, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, canine adenovirus, canine influenza virus, canine parainfluenza virus, canine distemper virus, mycoplasma, parasites, and fungi.
The disease is transmitted through the air when an infected dog coughs, sneezes, or even just breathes. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces such as food and water bowls, toys, and bedding.
Dogs that are exposed to other dogs in places like kennels, dog parks, and shelters are at a higher risk of contracting kennel cough.
Symptoms of kennel cough include a dry, hacking cough that may sound like the dog has something stuck in their throat, lethargy, loss of appetite, low fever, and nasal discharge. In severe cases, the disease can progress to pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.
Treatment for kennel cough depends on the severity of the disease. Mild cases may resolve on their own without treatment, while more severe cases may require antibiotics, cough suppressants, and supportive care such as fluids and rest.
It is important to seek veterinary care if your dog is showing symptoms of kennel cough, as early treatment can prevent the disease from progressing to pneumonia.
Prevention of kennel cough involves minimizing your dog’s exposure to other dogs, especially in high-risk environments like kennels and dog parks.
Vaccination against Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine influenza, and parainfluenza virus can also help prevent the disease.
Regular hand washing and disinfection of surfaces can also help reduce the spread of kennel cough.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough in Pomeranians
The most common symptom of kennel cough in Pomeranians is a persistent, hacking cough. The cough can be dry or moist, and it may sound like your dog is trying to clear something from their throat. The cough may be more pronounced after exercise or when your dog is excited. In severe cases, the coughing can be so intense that it leads to retching and vomiting.
Other symptoms of kennel cough in Pomeranians may include lethargy, runny nose, and fever.
Some dogs may also experience sneezing, wheezing, and eye discharge. Loss of appetite and a sore throat are also possible clinical signs of kennel cough.
It is important to note that not all dogs with kennel cough will exhibit the same symptoms, and some dogs may not show any symptoms at all.
Additionally, the severity of the symptoms can vary depending on the individual dog and the strain of the virus or bacteria causing the infection.
If your Pomeranian is showing any symptoms of kennel cough, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
Your veterinarian can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include antibiotics, cough suppressants, and supportive care. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary, especially if your dog is experiencing severe coughing or breathing difficulties.
Diagnosing Kennel Cough
If a Pomeranian is showing symptoms of kennel cough, it is important to take them to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
The veterinarian will perform a physical exam to check for signs of respiratory infection, such as coughing, nasal discharge, and fever.
During the physical exam, the veterinarian will also take the Pomeranian’s temperature. A normal temperature for a dog is between 100.5°F and 102.5°F. A higher temperature may indicate an infection or other health issue.
In some cases, the veterinarian may also recommend diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis of kennel cough. These tests may include blood work, chest x-rays, or a tracheal wash. A tracheal wash involves collecting a sample of mucus from the dog’s trachea for analysis.
It is important to note that kennel cough can have similar symptoms to other respiratory illnesses, so a proper diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment. Once a diagnosis has been made, the veterinarian will recommend a treatment plan based on the severity of the Pomeranian’s symptoms. Treatment may include antibiotics, cough suppressants, or other medications to help manage the symptoms of kennel cough.
Treatment Options for Kennel Cough
Treatment for kennel cough depends on the severity of the symptoms. Mild cases of kennel cough usually resolve on their own within one to three weeks. In more severe cases, treatment may be necessary to help alleviate symptoms and prevent complications.
If the dog has a fever, cough suppressants and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent secondary bacterial infections. It is important to note that antibiotics are not effective against viruses, which are the primary cause of kennel cough.
Intravenous fluids and oxygen therapy may be necessary in severe cases of kennel cough, especially if the dog is having difficulty breathing. Hospitalization may also be necessary in some cases.
It is important to keep the dog away from other dogs during the recovery period to prevent the spread of the illness. The dog should also be kept in a warm, dry environment to help alleviate symptoms.
In addition to medical treatment, there are some home remedies that may help alleviate symptoms of kennel cough.
These include humidifiers, steam therapy, and honey. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before trying any home remedies to ensure they are safe and effective.
Preventing Kennel Cough
Preventing Kennel Cough is always better than treating it. Kennel Cough is highly contagious and can spread quickly. Here are some tips to prevent Kennel Cough:
Vaccination is the best way to prevent Kennel Cough. Kennel Cough is caused by several viruses and bacteria, and there are vaccines available that can protect your Pomeranian from these pathogens. The vaccine is usually given as an injection or as a nasal spray. It is important to note that the vaccine does not provide 100% protection against Kennel Cough, but it can reduce the severity of the disease.
Avoiding exposure to other dogs is another way to prevent Kennel Cough. Pomeranians are social animals and love to play with other dogs, but it is important to limit their exposure to other dogs, especially if they are not vaccinated. Dog parks, kennels, and pet stores are common places where dogs can contract Kennel Cough. If your Pomeranian is exposed to other dogs, keep a close eye on them for any signs of coughing or sneezing.
Boosters are necessary to maintain immunity against Kennel Cough. Booster shots are recommended annually or every three years, depending on the vaccine type. It is important to keep your Pomeranian’s vaccinations up to date to ensure they are protected against Kennel Cough.
Maintaining good hygiene can also prevent Kennel Cough. Regularly cleaning your Pomeranian’s food and water bowls, toys, and bedding can help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. Also, washing your hands before and after handling your Pomeranian can reduce the risk of transmitting the disease.
Risk Factors and Complications
Kennel cough is highly contagious, and Pomeranians are particularly susceptible to it. Puppies, senior dogs, and those with weakened immune systems are also at a higher risk of contracting kennel cough.
Dogs that spend time in boarding facilities, dog parks, or daycare facilities are also at an increased risk of contracting kennel cough due to close proximity to other dogs. Poor ventilation in these facilities can also exacerbate the risk.
Stress can also increase the likelihood of a Pomeranian developing kennel cough. The stress of travel, being in a new environment, or being separated from their owner can all contribute to a weakened immune system and increased susceptibility to infection.
Complications of kennel cough can include secondary infections such as pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and tracheal collapse. In severe cases, kennel cough can even lead to congestive heart failure.
Pomeranians with pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, cancer, allergies, or heartworm disease may be at a higher risk of developing complications from kennel cough. It is important to monitor your Pomeranian closely and seek veterinary care if you suspect they have contracted kennel cough.
Home Care for Pomeranians with Kennel Cough
When a Pomeranian is diagnosed with kennel cough, it is important to provide proper care to help them recover quickly. Here are some home care tips for Pomeranians with kennel cough:
Rest is essential for a Pomeranian with kennel cough. It is important to minimize any physical activity that can worsen coughing fits. Consider keeping your Pomeranian in a crate or a small room to limit movement and prevent overexertion.
It is important to keep your Pomeranian hydrated during recovery. Offer plenty of water and consider adding some chicken or beef broth to encourage drinking.
Honey has natural antibacterial properties and can soothe a Pomeranian’s throat. Consider adding a small amount of honey to your Pomeranian’s water or food.
A humidifier can help ease a Pomeranian’s coughing fits by adding moisture to the air. Consider using a humidifier in the room where your Pomeranian spends most of their time.
Provide your Pomeranian with a comfortable and warm place to rest. Consider using a soft blanket or pillow to help them feel cozy and secure.
If your Pomeranian is experiencing discomfort, consider using a warm compress on their chest or throat. This can help ease coughing and provide some relief.
Remember, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for your Pomeranian. With proper care and treatment, most Pomeranians with kennel cough will recover within a few weeks.
Potential Environmental Triggers
Pomeranians with kennel cough may have their symptoms aggravated by various environmental triggers. Here are some potential triggers that may cause or worsen kennel cough symptoms:
Smoke and Dust
Smoke and dust can irritate a Pomeranian’s respiratory system and worsen their coughing. Smoke from cigarettes, fireplaces, or even incense can cause irritation. Dust from carpets, furniture, or other household items can also trigger coughing fits.
Other irritants such as cleaning products, perfumes, or air fresheners can also worsen kennel cough symptoms. Pomeranians with kennel cough should be kept away from any strong odors or chemicals.
Cold temperatures can also worsen kennel cough symptoms. Pomeranians should be kept warm and comfortable, especially during the winter months. A warm and humid environment can help soothe their cough and make them more comfortable.
It is important to note that while environmental triggers can worsen kennel cough symptoms, they do not cause the condition. Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the stages of kennel cough?
Kennel cough typically has two stages. The first stage is characterized by a dry, hacking cough that sounds like your dog has something stuck in their throat. The second stage may involve coughing up phlegm and mucus.
What are the mild symptoms of kennel cough?
Mild symptoms of kennel cough include lethargy, loss of appetite, and a low fever. In some cases, a Pom with kennel cough may also experience sneezing, eye discharge, and coughing fits.
What are some remedies for an old dog coughing and gagging?
If your old dog is coughing and gagging, it is important to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. Depending on the cause of the cough, your vet may recommend medications, changes in diet, or other treatments.
What can I give my Pomeranian for a cough?
It is important to never give your Pomeranian any medications without first consulting with your vet. Depending on the cause of the cough, your vet may prescribe medication to help alleviate symptoms.
How can I treat my dog’s kennel cough at home?
While there is no cure for kennel cough, there are several things you can do to help alleviate symptoms at home. These include keeping your dog in a warm, humid environment, using a humidifier, and encouraging your dog to rest and drink plenty of water.
What is the fastest way to cure kennel cough?
There is no one “fastest” way to cure kennel cough, as it depends on the severity of the case and the underlying cause. However, seeking prompt veterinary care and following your vet’s treatment plan can help speed up the healing process.