Is Kennel Cough Contagious to Humans?

  • By: Charlie Anderson
  • Date: November 4, 2021
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection often found in dogs and is similar to human colds. Kennel cough is caused by bacteria but can also be spread through airborne droplets from sneezing or coughing. The symptoms of kennel cough are typically mild, with some being more severe than others.

Suppose you have recently been around an animal who is infected with the disease. In that case, it is essential to speak with your doctor about whether or not you should get tested for this disease and any treatments available for humans who have contracted kennel cough.

What is Kennel Cough, and how does it differ from other coughs?

Kennel cough is an infection that dogs get. It can spread through droplets, contact with other animals or their waste, and surfaces like kennels where lots of animals go. Like humans’ common colds – which often lead to viruses being passed between people at crowded events such as concerts- catching KennEL coughed for your pup isn’t difficult; just make sure you keep them away from any susceptible friends!

Kennel Cough: Causes and Transmission

Despite the common belief that cats can’t pass along kennel cough, they actually are just as contagious. The most common bacteria and virus element found in this illness is Bordetella bronchiseptica; other bacterial or viral factors may be Streptococcus zooepidemicus (which causes pneumonia), parainfluenza viruses A through G). If your pet gets infected with these organisms at home before boarding facility attendance is required, then you should ensure they have been vaccinated first so it will not spread from one animal to another.

Kennel Cough Reinfestation Rate

A canine’s quality of life can be significantly impacted by kennel cough, but some good news is. Dogs who contract the Bordetella bronchiseptica strain will not become carriers and can fight off infection for 6-12 months after their last exposure to an infected pet or animal tissue source!

Is It Possible That My Dog Can Give Me Kennel Cough?

While it may be true that dogs can get kennel cough, human infection with the virus is unlikely. People who have lung cancer or other respiratory problems are at risk for developing symptoms of this disease after coming into contact with an infected animal – but unless you’re one of these vulnerable individuals, there’s no need to worry!

Symptoms of Kennel Cough in Dogs

The symptoms of kennel cough in dogs are similar to the common cold, which is typically why this illness is often misdiagnosed. Kennel cough is characterized by a harsh-sounding bark or honk that can last for several weeks if left untreated; your dog might also experience discharge from their nose and eyes (which is usually clear), coughing, and sneezing. If your dog shows any of these signs, take them to the vet because they might have rabies.

Your dog may show these signs: 

  • A cough that is forceful and persistent
  • A runny nose is an example of a common cold.
  • Eye discharge
  • Sneezing

Your dog has a variety of illnesses, but if he’s beginning to show any signs like decreased appetite or lethargy, it may be time for you to take him in. A doctor will help determine if your dog is sick and what the sickness might be. Your doctor might tell you that there is a chance your dog has a condition that is worse than the one they actually have. For instance, he may just have a cough, but it could also be distemper which can cause fever and loss of energy.

If humans are exposed to Bordetella bronchiseptica but have not been vaccinated against kennel cough, they may experience mild symptoms or a sore throat or runny nose. Unlike dogs, people who contract the transmittable disease from canine to human can develop resistance for up to three years!

Symptoms of Kennel Cough in Humans

Symptoms of Kennel Cough in Humans

If you have an active kennel cough infection, watch for these symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent, stubborn cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Respiratory problems
  • Fever

Without treatment, your infection could get worse and turn into pneumonia. People with pre-existing conditions like asthma or diabetes might get kennel cough. They can also develop:

  • Fluid build-up around the lungs
  • Lung abscess
  • Respiratory failure
  • Septic shock

If you think you may have contacted the kennel cough virus, talk to your doctor. This is an easy way to stop the virus from becoming worse.

Kennel Cough Complications

The average timeline for kennel cough is three to six weeks, but this can vary depending on the age and health of your animal. A senior dog with chronic bronchitis may have a long bout, but a puppy might die from pneumonia if they catch it early.

Suppose you notice any strange coughing fits coming out of nowhere at times when there should be none happening (especially during feeding time). In that case, I recommend taking your pup/senior pet in to see our veterinarian immediately rather than waiting another day because that is a sure sign of a secondary infection or complication!

How to Treat Your Dog for Kennel Cough

Kicking the cough is one way to keep your pup healthy! Many animals will not need treatment if it develops symptoms of kennel cold. However, there are risks involved for stubborn cases or those who can’t shake their virus, so be sure to see a vet right away before complications arise.

Treatment for Dogs

Vets will often treat dogs with antibiotics, cough suppressant medication, or vaporizers to help them breathe easier and reduce their chance of getting sick in the first place. In addition, they should get vaccinated every year so as not to be at risk for this! Even after vaccines, there is no guarantee that your dog will not become infected. But you can make it less severe by doing things like giving fluids only through feeding tubes (a “fluid therapy” diet), cleaning hands often, and making sure the house has good ventilation during heat waves. You should also keep away from pets who have not.

Is It Safe to Give My Dog Robitussin for Kennel Cough?

To treat kennel cough, many veterinarians will propose Robitussin DM (dextromethorphan). It’s a drug designed for humans that haven’t been approved by the FDA in dogs. It can have side effects on them, including sedation or excitement, which may be dangerous depending on their health status when you give this drug.

Its effectiveness against chronic bronchitis makes many practices prescribe it without hesitation but should always come directly from your vet before giving out any other medications!

Robitussin Dosage for Dogs:

The most famous concentration of Robitussin is 2mg/ml, which is available in liquid or tablet form. The usual recommended dosage for dogs weighs between .5mg – 1 mg per pound taken every 12 hours with a vet’s guidance on what you should do as far as dosing goes specifically tailored to your pet’s needs!

Treatment For Humans

If your doctor confirms that you have a kennel cough infection, they will provide antibiotics and Robitussin to help you feel better until the condition goes away.

Recovering From Kennel Cough

While 10 to 14 days may seem like a long time, it is the best course of action with this infectious disease. It would help if you did not take your pet anywhere, potentially putting them in contact or exchanging air pollution from other pets, including dog parks, kennels, and daycares.

Although you can keep your pet indoors, for the time being, there is always the chance that they will start to get sick. You should be careful because if someone else gets close enough to them and is not yet fully recovered, they might also get sick.

Conclusion

Kennel cough is a highly contagious illness that many dogs will face at some point during their life. However, suppose you follow these tips to properly care for your pet and ensure they’re vaccinated against it both regularly as well as promptly after symptoms arise. In that case, kennels are easy enough, so keep them safe!

Remember: it is hard to see if someone is sick because they might not have any signs. Sick people still pass germs onto other things, so people can get sick from them. It is tough to determine if the person has been infected with K+C because they don’t have any signs.

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