Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kennel Cough vs. Bronchitis

We have a new and exciting Ask the Dog Trainer question today.  To be honest, it's more of an Ask the Vet question, seeing as I had to ask a vet to get a clear answer.  Since I was confused at first, I thought it might be a good idea to share with you what I learned.

My dog has had a cough for the past week.  It's fairly productive, and she hasn't been acting herself, so I took her to the vet.  My vet told me she has Bronchitis.  I asked if it was Kennel Cough, but the vet said, "No."  It was simply Bronchitis.  What's the difference?

Yep, this one definitely baffled me.  As far as I knew, Kennel Cough and Bronchitis were one and the same, but apparently I was only partially right.  As it turns out, Kennel Cough is Bronchitis, but Bronchitis is not necessarily Kennel Cough.  Confused?  Let me explain.

Bronchitis describes anything that irritates the trachea.  This could be allergies, kennel cough, a cold, a flu, dust, etc.  Kennel cough, on the other hand, is specifically an infectious virus which happens to effect the trachea as well as other parts of the body.

Now then, with that, I must make one comment.  In the past couple of weeks, I've seen a huge increase in dogs coughing.  Most dog owners and many vets will automatically assume this is kennel cough and will prescribe antibiotics and cough medicine.  The problem is, kennel cough is not always the answer.  I find it no surprise that this huge increase in coughing dogs came at the same time that the weather got warmer, the pollen count rose, and I ended up with an irritated throat and a running nose.  I didn't have a cold.  I had allergies...and most likely so did many of the dogs being treated for kennel cough.

So, before you load your dog up with antibiotics and other meds, make sure you know what's going on.  It may be kennel cough, it may be allergy-induced bronchitis, or it could be some other, more severe bronchitis.  You'll save yourself a lot of time and money, though, if you are aware of all the possibilities.

Remember, if you have any questions, feel free to ask on our Facebook page!


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  2. I appreciate your information on the Bronchitis. I wrote about this, too, recently. More specifically about the causes and cure to Bronchitis.

  3. Thanks for sharing this extremely informative article on allergic cough. I recently read about breathing problems, preventive measures to control and medication for Asthma on I found it extremely helpful.

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