Identifying the symptoms of kennel cough in their early stages is one of the best ways to treat the disease before it has a chance to metastasize into something much worse.
Kennel cough affects millions of dogs all across the country each year, lending credence to the statement that it's the most widespread canine disease in the world. It's mostly transferred in cramped areas with poor airflow and ventilation because the disease travels on airborne particles from one dog to another.
If an infected dog sneezes, that fine mist of mucus contains millions of tiny bacteria that are looking for a new host.
In normal situations, such as outside in a park or on the street, the mist will dissipate in just a few seconds and the infectious kennel cough bacteria will become less concentrated, thus making it harder for another dog to inhale enough to make him sick. When you put that same infected dog into a kennel though, his sneeze mist will head straight for every other dog in the area.
Kennel cough is basically to dogs what the common cold is to humans. It can be caught anywhere, not just in kennels, though these crowded areas make the risk of infection more likely.
Just like colds can spread throughout schools and office buildings like a wild fire in a high wind, if there's one dog with kennel cough in a kennel, there's a good chance every dog in that kennel is going to come down with it.
So what are the symptoms of kennel cough? Well, for the most part the most common kennel cough symptoms are a distinctive cough. It's going to sound dry and raspy, like the dog has something in his throat that he's trying to cough up.
It might have a sort of “honking” quality to it as well, and dogs with kennel cough will often keep everybody in the vicinity up all night long with their incessant loud coughs. Other common symptoms of kennel cough include runny nose and eyes and a decrease in both appetite and energy.
As the body moves all its resources to fight off the infection it pulls all the energy from other parts of the body, leaving the dog wanting to do nothing but lie there and feel miserable. Again, just like a human being with a cold.
If the infection becomes worse, your dog might start to develop a fever and have excess yellowish mucus coming out with every sneeze and cough. He will lose his energy even more, and you might have to force food into him to get him to eat.
Eventually, kennel cough can turn into bronchitis or pneumonia, and sometimes the transition will occur within less than two weeks. Because of this, it's imperative that you treat the infection as soon as you notice it. The more you wait, the harder it will be to get rid of. You can search this site for more articles on kennel cough treatments and home remedies for kennel cough.