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Denise Colgrove
Denise Colgrove, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7128
Experience:  Internship and residency at UCD. 47 years experience.
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My dogs were kenneled recently and both came home sneezing.

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My dogs were kenneled recently and both came home sneezing. Took them to the vet and he said it was the start of "kennel" cough. The sneezing stopped after about a day after starting the medications. They were given antibiotics and a steroid which they only took for about three days before having reactions to them. Took them off the medication. My concern is that I have two cats. One female around 2 years old, and a male about 10 years old. Now both my cats are sneezing. It is intermittant, and seems to be worse right after they wake up and start moving around. This cannot be just a coincidence. So, do you think they caught the kennel cough from my dogs?

Also, any ideas on how I can treat them at home. I am unemployed and spent about $200 on the dogs, and cannot afford any more vet bills. If left untreated, will it just run its course.
Hi there,

I have never seen Kennel Cough start with sneezing. I have seen something called snuffles related to kennel cough however, which we call a backwards sneeze in that the dog appears to be sucking in air with head extended and making making a loud noise. It is within the realm of possibility that the cats have caught something from the dogs. Kennel cough is caused by two viruses and a bacteria called Bordatella. The Bordatella does cause upper respiratory signs in cats and there is a vaccine for it used primarily when cats are boarded.

I had thought that the Bordatella was species specific. Now I am having my doubts. I will search the literaure ans see what I can find.

Edited by Denise Colgrove on 6/4/2010 at 4:42 PM EST
I did find that Bordatella bronchiseptica does infect both dogs and cats.

Yes it will just run its course. If the sneezing gets too much you can buy over the counter at the drug store chlorphiniramine an antihistamine and give them 1/2 tablet of the 4 mg tablet twice daily. If there noses are congested this can be relieved with neosynephrine nose drops mildest strength 1 drop in each nostril 2 times a day.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Dr. Denise,

Thank you very much. From what you said, I think this is what you call snuffles. One of my dogs and my male cat especially, has the reverse sneeze and then it is usually followed with a forceful regular sneeze. The cat would be on my lap, and spray a clear liquid all over my t-shirt! I did find on the internet that some vets that used to believe that Bordatella was canine specific are now saying that in some cases it is not. It also said that it is constantly morphing into other strains.


Your answer was extremely helpful.


One more question. Since the cats caught it after the dogs came home and gave it to them, and since the dogs are basically back to you think that the cats could reinfect the dogs again??