Kennel Cough

There are frequently discussions about Kennel Cough, vet Hannah Lyon has put together some key information about this disease, how it is spread and what it means for you and your dog.

What is it?

Kennel Cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis is a common infection in dogs, especially this time of year. It is caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria and causes inflammation of the throat, lungs and airway which causes a hacking cough.

Kennel Cough is VERY contagious. 


 How could my dog get it?

Kennel Cough is VERY Contagious and can be caught from contact with an infected dog, or by inhaling the particles from where an infected dog has coughed.

It can also be caught from sharing food and water bowls and even toys.


 How serious is Kennel Cough for my dog?

For most dogs, kennel cough is not serious but can take several weeks to clear up.

However, for elderly dogs, young puppies and dogs with other underlying medical conditions it can cause more serious illness and lead to pneumonia which can in some cases be fatal.


 Are there any vaccinations or treatmants?

There are vaccinations available against kennel cough.

Some brands of the annual vaccination contain a kennel cough element “parainfluenza” and the intra-nasal vaccine is specifically for another element of kennel cough. These vaccines offer partial protection against kennel cough – they reduce the clinical signs and reduce how much a dog sheds the disease if they are exposed.

Vaccines  DO NOT completely reduce the risk of your dog catching kennel cough.


 How long could my dog have been infected before I see symptoms?

The incubation period (how long symptoms take to show after infection) is between 3 to 10 days and a dog can be shed infection for a couple of days before they start coughing.


How does this affect Canicross Midlands races?

When you sign up to Canicross Midlands races you agree to abide by our rules which include that you will not bring any dog to our races who has been in contact with infectious disease in the last 21 days. This is regardless of whether your dogs are vaccinated or not.

Not all dogs in a household may show symptoms of kennel cough, but they can still shed the disease to other dogs or pass it on through close contact.

“In contact” refers to:

  • living in the same household as a dog with kennel cough,
  • being in contact with dogs from the same household as a dog who has kennel cough
  • attending runs or walking with dogs counts as in contact, especially as exercise and exertion are more likely to induce coughing and therefore aid the spread of the disease.

Please abide by our rules and

  • DO NOT bring your dog, or any of your dogs, to our races if they themselves have kennel cough or are coughing
  • OR have been in contact with any dog who has kennel cough or live in the same household as a dog with kennel cough.

This is for the safety and ongoing health of all our dogs.