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HomeDear VetBabbleHow Can I Determine if My Puppy is Suffering from Kennel Cough?

How Can I Determine if My Puppy is Suffering from Kennel Cough?


Dear VetBabble,

How do I know if my puppy has kennel cough? I’ve heard it described as a whooping type cough, and I want to make sure I don’t confuse it with a reverse sneeze. Should I take my dog to the vet if I’m concerned?

Identifying Kennel Cough and When to Visit the Vet

It’s great that you’re being vigilant about your puppy’s health, as kennel cough is a common concern among pet owners. In this article, we’ll dive into the signs and symptoms of kennel cough, how to differentiate it from other similar conditions, and when it’s time to seek professional help.

Signs and Symptoms of Kennel Cough

Kennel cough, or canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs, often characterized by a harsh, dry cough that may sound like a goose honking or a whooping noise. While this may be the primary symptom, other signs may include sneezing, nasal discharge, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Understanding the different types of coughs your dog may experience can help you better identify if they have kennel cough. For more information about this, check out our article on Coughing in Dogs: Types, Diagnoses and Treatment.

Distinguishing Kennel Cough from Other Conditions

While kennel cough has specific signs and symptoms, it may be confused with other conditions such as reverse sneezing, which you mentioned. Reverse sneezing can be alarming to witness but is generally harmless. It differs from kennel cough in that it involves rapid, forceful inhalations through the nose, often accompanied by gagging noises. Watching videos on platforms like YouTube may help you familiarize yourself with what reverse sneezing sounds like.

Another closely related condition is a cold in dogs. To determine if your dog has a cold or kennel cough, visit our article on Does My Dog Have a Cold?.

When to Visit the Vet

If you suspect your dog may have kennel cough, it is essential to schedule a veterinarian appointment as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment will ensure your fur baby recovers quickly and reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other pets. Your vet will perform a thorough examination, discuss the history, and may recommend diagnostic testing to confirm the diagnosis.

For more information on how to treat and prevent kennel cough, read our article on Bordetella: How to Treat and Prevent Kennel Cough in Dogs.

It’s also important to be informed about other potential health concerns your puppy may face, like coccidia, a common parasite that can affect dogs. For more information on coccidia, visit our article on Coccidia in Dogs and Puppies: What It Is and How to Treat It.

Regular check-ups and vaccinations are essential to maintaining your pet’s overall well-being and ensuring they remain healthy and happy throughout their life. By being observant and proactive, you’re giving your dog the best possible care. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian.

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