What Are the Symptoms of Kennel Cough?

Are you concerned that your dog might have kennel cough? Do you want to know which signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for? When you have a dog, it is important to recognize the symptoms of kennel cough so you can take him to the veterinarian as soon as you suspect he has this illness.

Symptoms of kennel cough

Kennel cough is a common problem among dogs, especially those who spend time in boarding facilities. Check out the list of symptoms below to learn more about what to watch for.

5 Common Symptoms of Kennel Cough

5 symptoms of kennel cough include, but aren’t limited to:

Honking Cough

The most common symptom of kennel cough is the honking cough for which it gets its common name. If your dog coughs often or gets into severe coughing fits, he may have kennel cough. If he coughs and it sounds like a goose honking when it happens, this is a strong sign.

Dogs with kennel cough may cough so much that they make themselves nauseated. Sometimes, this can also cause them to vomit. The vomiting is more related to the feeling of uncontrollable coughing than it is to any digestive problems associated with the illness.

Wheezing and Difficulty Breathing

Wheezing goes along with the honking cough that signifies a kennel cough infection. Dogs may wheeze in between coughing spells or even when they haven’t been coughing for a while. This wheezing may come from nasal congestion, chest congestion, or both.

If your dog is wheezing, he may also have some difficulty breathing. Pay close attention to this symptom to determine whether or not your dog is in distress. If his difficulty breathing is only from his congestion, it will clear up with medication. However, trouble breathing can sometimes become serious without warning.

Runny Nose and Sneezing

Although a runny nose is not as common as coughing or wheezing in terms of kennel cough symptoms, it is still a possibility. If you see that your dog’s nose is runny without any of the other symptoms on this list, it is not likely because of kennel cough. However, if you see these symptoms along with a runny nose, then kennel cough may be the likely culprit.

Sneezing is another less common symptom. However, some dogs who have kennel cough develop a long-term sneezing problem that doesn’t seem to clear up, even with proper medication. Speak to your vet if this happens to your dog.

Watery Eyes

Most dogs who have kennel cough or any other congestion issue may develop watery eyes associated with this problem. Your dog’s eyes may become red or irritated, and they may run or ooze. You may also notice more caked-on “tears” around your dog’s eyes if he is sick with kennel cough.

Watery eyes alone are not usually a sign of kennel cough, but they can be when associated with other symptoms on this list. If your dog has watery eyes and no other symptoms, he may have something else going on and should see a vet for a diagnosis.

Lethargy

Dogs who become sick with just about any illness are likely to become lethargic. Just like humans, dogs who are sick need time to heal and recover, and their bodies need rest. Because of this, they tend to spend more time sleeping or taking it easy when they are sick.

Like many symptoms on this list, lethargy alone is not a sign of kennel cough. When coupled with other listed symptoms, however, lethargy can be a good indicator that your dog has kennel cough. Pay attention to his appetite and how much water he drinks, and make sure he is getting enough food and water both while he is sick.

Call a Vet if Your Dog Has Kennel Cough

Now that you know which symptoms are most commonly associated with kennel cough, you can be more prepared to take your dog to the vet if he shows any of these concerning signs. Although dogs can usually recover from kennel cough with medication, this illness should still not be ignored.

Keep in mind, too, that there are vaccinations for the viruses and bacteria that cause kennel cough. When your dog is old enough, you can have him vaccinated against these organisms and ensure that he won’t come down with kennel cough at all. This is especially important if you will be boarding him or taking him to the dog park in the future.

For any additional questions about kennel cough or anything to do with your dog’s health, contact any of our The Village Vets locations and we’ll be happy to assist you in your dog’s care. Our compassionate team is here for you and your pet.

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The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.