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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28474
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Recurring Kennel cough. A couple of questions. What is the

Customer Question

Recurring Kennel cough. A couple of questions. What is the viability of the virus causing Kennel Cough outside the dog? And what is the incubation period? I know there are many strains so a average is cool. About two months ago I took my pup to day care and the older dogs seemed to start acking and gacking like they're choking after about a week. We put the immune deficient dog on antibiotics as a precaution and the others resolved on their own. Now, 2 months later, with no new exposure, all 4 dogs are acking and gacking including the puppy who has had his Boratella shot ( I know it doesn't cover all strains) What is interesting is none of the dogs eat with the same gusto they did before the first incident. I worry because 2 of the older dogs are quite old (12 and 13 yo labs) They all are ADR so I wonder if there might me something else masking as kennel cough. The dogs are 7 months (collie X, 7 years Shep X, 12 years and 13 years Labx with no one worse than the others. .
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Bordetella bronchiseptica - a bacterium rather than virus - is the most common infectious agent found in infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough"). The most common frequent multiagent infection includes Bordetella and either the canine parainfluenza virus or canine adenovirus. The incubation period is 3-10 days. Bordetella remains in the environment for a variable length of time but often for many weeks and months and so re-infection can occur particularly because post-infection immunity may not be lasting. Canine influenza should also be a consideration in your dogs because that virus will sicken them far worse than the infectious tracheobronchitis agents and, in fact, cause pneumonia. Your older dogs should have their chests X-rayed. I never assume that geriatric dogs are suffering from infectious tracheobronchitis; instead, I X-ray them upon initial presentation of symptoms suggestive of infectious tracheobronchitis. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for answering. This has me somewhat confused. I was under the understanding that antibiotics were not indicated to treat KC but rather to deal with the secondary bacterial infections. Which is why I thought it was a virus. Anyway, thanks for your answer. I was debating whether to wait this out or make an appointment. Seems at least the older guys should be seen if nothing else than to rule out more serious conditions.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
In most cases I won't treat an otherwise normal adult because KC is self-limiting in the great majority of cases - whether Bordetella is complicated with a virus or not. I worry about those symptoms in geriatrics, however. They're too often confused with cardiovascular disease or neoplasia in the aged and so, yes, please have the older guys X-rayed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey Doc. Sorry about not rating your answer. I had asked for a refund hours before you answered. They should have withdrawn my question when I asked for the refund. However, this is not your fault, and you should not be penalized. I ended up taking in another dog who was a reluctant eater. It was the right choice because his blood work shows more issues than kennel cough. However, once he is done, I will be taking the KC guy in because it still hasn't resolved.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
No worries. I appreciate your taking the time to update me. Keep me posted, please.