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Signs That My Doodle Dog Has Kennel Cough

Signs That My Doodle Dog Has Kennel Cough

This article will discuss learning the signs that my doodle dog has kennel cough, including its cause, symptoms, and treatment. Keep reading to learn more.

So, if you have ever taken your doodle dog to stay at a boarding facility for a few days, you may have been asked by the facility’s management to prove they are vaccinated against kennel cough.

Therefore we all want what is healthiest for our furry friends and will ensure they are protected from health issues.

Before you cancel your plans or decide against adding another vaccination at your next vet visit, getting the facts about kennel cough will help you make an informed decision.

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs. So, if your doodle is hacking or constantly making noises that sound like choking on something, they may have a case of kennel cough.

While kennel cough can sound terrible, it is often not a serious health issue. Most doodle dogs will recover even without treatment.

However, the symptoms can make your infected furry friend quite miserable while it lasts.

What Is Kennel Cough

Kennel cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis or canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD), is a highly contagious disease in dogs.

Infectious bronchitis causes the dog’s bronchioles and trachea to become inflamed. This leads to a dry, hacking cough.

The cough can often sound like your furry friend has something stuck in their throat.

This health issue can be caused by various microorganisms, such as canine adenovirus, mycoplasma, parainfluenza virus, and Bordatella bronchiseptica bacteria, along with many other viruses and bacteria.

It is usually spread when a dog is exposed to the respiratory secretions of an infected dog.

While the condition can cause mild symptoms in some dogs, it can progress to fatal pneumonia in others.

That is why it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of kennel cough in dogs and seek medical attention promptly if you detect any signs.

Kennel Cough Symptoms In Doodles

The signs and symptoms of kennel cough typically begin from 2 to 15 days after exposure. In most cases, dogs experience mild symptoms.

The following are the mild symptoms of kennel cough in dogs.

  • Gagging
  • Sneezing
  • Occasional coughs
  • Coughing up white foam
  • Runny nose and eyes
  • ‘Goose honk’ cough

This characteristic dry “honking” cough might look like the dog is trying to hack or cough something up and can be followed by a spit of mucus.

Oftentimes, the symptoms will appear worse immediately following a period of increased exercising or excitement. These signs usually last 10 to 14 days, after which gradual improvement is seen.

In young puppies, geriatric pets, unvaccinated animals, and immunocompromised dogs, the condition can develop with more severe symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Nasal discharge
  • Constant coughing
  • Severe congestion
  • Pneumonia
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased appetite
  • Death

How Is Kennel Cough Transmitted?

Many dogs contract kennel cough in boarding facilities, dog kennels, or shelters. The infection is highly contagious and can be transmitted through different routes.

The following are ways through which kennel cough can be transmitted.

Direct Contact with Infected Dogs

Your doodle dog can contract kennel cough by playing or just breathing the same air as an infected dog.

Places where many dogs are kept or allowed to play, need extra precautionary measures to prevent the transmission of the condition. These facilities may include:

  • Dog spas
  • Dog grooming salons
  • Daycare facilities
  • Boarding facilities
  • Dog parks
  • Kennels
  • Animal shelters
  • Veterinary hospitals

Through the Air

As mentioned, kennel cough is an airborne disease. This means it is primarily spread through the air that your dog breathes.

When an infected dog coughs, sneezes, or barks, they release microscopic particles of the virus-like a human with flu or cold could cough or sneeze and pass their infection to the others around them.

The contaminants can stay in the air for a longer period.

Contact with Contaminated Objects or People

Bacteria can stay on surfaces or objects for up to 2 days, ready to be passed to another host.

Besides, humans can be a transmission source if they do not disinfect their clothing and hands after handling pets. Kennel cough can also be transmitted through objects, dog toys, beds, water, and food.

Kennel Cough Causes

There are two major causes of kennel cough in dogs.

Bordetella bronchiseptica

This is the most common bacterial cause of kennel cough. The symptoms can last up to ten days if the bacteria acts alone.

However, the bacteria can sometimes work together with the parainfluenza virus. In that case, symptoms may last up to 21 days. 

Parainfluenza Virus

Parainfluenza virus is the most common viral cause of kennel cough in doodles. When acting alone, symptoms can last up to 7 days.

Other infectious agents that cause kennel cough include:

  • Canine respiratory coronavirus
  • Mycoplasma
  • Canine adenovirus 2 (CAV2)

Kennel Cough Treatment

So, if your furry friend is diagnosed with kennel cough, treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms. 

The following are treatment methods for the condition.


Kennel cough is often self-limited, meaning it may go away independently. However, it is always advisable to seek help from your vet if you suspect any signs of the condition.

A vet will help you determine the best treatment protocol for your furry friend.

Oftentimes, supportive medication will be needed. This may include:

  • Steroids to help with the inflammation
  • Cough suppressants if the coughing is severe 
  • Use of antibiotics such as Baytril and Clavamox to help treat secondary bacterial infections

At-Home Care

So, if your doodle has contracted kennel cough, you will want to isolate them for at least 14 days or even longer if the symptoms are severe.

In mild cases of kennel cough, you can use a humidifier or place your dog in a shower-steamed bathroom to provide additional relief.

Also, you should consider using a harness instead of a collar. A collar can irritate the dog’s throat and worsen the coughing.

In more severe cases, bronchodilators and aerosol therapy may be prescribed to expand the airways for easier breathing.

Often, such cases require weekly vet appointments until your dog is considered stable. Any continuing or worsening conditions should be reported to the vet immediately.


Hospitalization is recommended for doodle dogs that develop pneumonia. A vet can perform coupage (physical therapy) by striking the chest with cupped hands.

It is done to break up and expel congestion in the lungs. In addition, some dogs may require oxygen therapy.

Other Conditions That Cause Dogs to Cough

The following are other common conditions that may cause your doodle to cough.

Heart Disease

One of the most common causes of coughing in dogs is heart muscle or valve disease, which prevents the dog’s heart from pumping blood efficiently.

Your dog will cough when some parts of the heart enlarge and compress airways in the lungs. So,if your dog’s cough is soft and continuous, it is likely caused by heart disease.

Coughing can get worse at night or when they are resting by their side. So, if you suspect any signs, you should see your vet immediately.


Bacteria, metabolic disorders, or a preexisting viral infection like canine influenza can cause dog pneumonia or inflammation of the lungs.

So, if your doodle has pneumonia, their cough will often sound moist and soft. The dog may also have a high fever, low energy, and poor appetite.

Dogs with this condition will need prompt veterinary treatment, rest, and plenty of fluids. They may also need hospitalization for a good recovery.

Canine Influenza

Like humans, dogs are subject to contracting the flu. In dogs, it is commonly referred to as canine influenza.

The cough results from a respiratory infection that can last anywhere from eight to thirty days.

While the symptoms of canine influenza can be severe, there is medication as a course of treatment.

Since the condition is highly contagious, it is advisable to quarantine the sick dog if you have other pets in the family. Luckily, canine influenza transmitted to or from humans is nonexistent.

Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse is a health condition that causes the trachea to become floppy and soft. It is common in common in miniature and toy doodles.

It is also common in obese dogs who are not exercised regularly. The official name for the condition is tracheal chondromalacia.

Doodles with this health condition will have a dry, hacking, and spasmodic cough. They tend to cough repeatedly, which can worsen if they pull while on a leash.

Dogs with tracheal collapse often have heart disease and bronchitis as well. Treatment includes medication and weight management. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.


Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease in dogs that causes the trachea and bronchioles to become inflamed.

This leads to a dry, hacking cough that sometimes sounds like your pet has something stuck in its throat.

Its common symptoms include sneezing, gagging, coughing up white foam, losing appetite, and lethargy. While the condition can cure on its own, it is advisable to see your vet if you suspect any signs.

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