Many diseases have lay names which are highly misleading. Chicken pox in humans has nothing to do with chickens. Sandfly disease in dogs has nothing to do with sand, or indeed with flies. KENNEL COUGH is another example. It is not a serious disease to which dogs are exposed only when they are in kennels.
When dogs are anywhere in close proximity – dogs living together, playing together, travelling together, competing in dog shows etc. – they can catch a respiratory infection characterised by a mild, yet irritating cough. Bouts of coughing often follow excitement or exercise.
Usually the dog remains bright and maintains its appetite and there is nothing to worry about. Sometimes, however, complications arise because the virus opens the door for a bacteriological infection and a severe bronchopneumonia develops with high fever and nasal discharge.
Generally speaking, kennel cough is a mild disease and not nearly as serious as distemper, which has similar characteristics.
When you take your dog for his annual vaccination, protection again kennel cough is included in what is generally called the “Cocktail”, a mix of vaccinations covering several diseases. Please be aware some vets are giving a cheaper lower grade cocktail vaccination which does not include any influenza protection for your dog. However, you can get additional protection from a separate vaccination and if you are concerned about Kennel Cough you should ask your vet´s advice. Some Kennels are now insisting on this vaccine.