The term ‘Kennel cough’ is in fact a misnomer. This is because 60% of dogs that have so-called kennel cough have never been in kennels! It is called kennel-cough because the disease spreads when dogs are kept in close contact, typically, but far from always, when they visit kennels.
The disease is technically known as infectious tracheobronchitis and it is caused by the combination of a virus and a bacterium. The typical clinical signs are an extremely unpleasant honking cough similar to human whooping cough. It is very contagious and can as easily be acquired in areas where a high number of dogs visit, such as popular dog-walking areas, canine day-care centres and even training and agility classes.
Some dog owners therefore elect to vaccination their dog against infectious tracheobronchitis even though they never go into kennels, whereas other owners prefer to do so only if their kennels, canine day-care centres, training and agilityclasses insist upon it. It takes 2 weeks from vaccination for adequate immunity to develop.
The vaccine lasts for a year and can be given from 8 weeks old. It can be given at the same time as your dog’s annual booster.
Traditionally Kennel Cough vaccinations were administered as an intranasal spray. Many dogs resented this style of administration and some even became phobic of visiting the vet in the future. For this reason Aldeburgh Vets uses a brand of Kennel Cough vaccine that is given as a trickle inside the cheek flap of the mouth without even having to open the mouth. They sem to like the taste of it too!