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Bordetella (Kennel Cough)

During human flu season it is common for the canine flu virus (Bordetella) or kennel cough to spread as well. There is currently an increase in the number of kennel cough cases in Calgary and surrounding area due to the pandemic and people taking their dogs to the dog park to get outside. The symptoms of kennel cough are:

  • a strong cough, often with a “honking” sound and possibly with phlegm – this is the most obvious symptom

  • runny nose

  • sneezing

  • lethargy

  • loss of appetite

  • low fever

Bordetella is contagious and it is important to not socialize your dog with other dogs if your dog has any signs of kennel cough. Like the human flu, kennel cough will typically go away on its own. However, to deal with the symptoms your vet may prescribe a cough suppressant.

At this point it is important to monitor your dog’s energy level and appetite. If your dog lost his/her appetite, is lethargic, and/or has discharge from the nose, take them to the vet. These symptoms signal that they are starting to get a bacterial infection and is more serious than kennel cough. The vet might prescribe an anti-biotic so that complications do not develop into pneumonia. It is very rare for healthy adult dogs to get pneumonia from kennel cough, most dogs will recover in a week or two on their own. Please keep your dog at home and avoid socializing them during this time in order to prevent the spread of kennel cough and allow time for your dog to recover.


December 5, 2020


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