Coughing Dogs | Champion of My Heart

Sometimes a cough is more than a simple cough. It seems easy to attribute coughing dogs to so-called “kennel cough,” but veterinary researchers continue to find additional and more complicated ways dogs cough and cough and cough for longer than you’d ever expect.


“kennel cough has a new name”

I was intrigued by this recent headline from the Clinician’s letter, so I logged into my free account from there and printed that out full peer reviewed article. Below you will find a summary of some important points.

Coughing Dogs – CIRDC

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) is complicated with several possible infectious agents.

Why rename Kennel Cough?

The article explains: “The disease was referred to as kennel cough and contagious tracheobronchitisbut CIRDC is now preferred as this term emphasizes both the involvement of multiple infectious agents and that disease susceptibility depends on host immunity and environmental factors. Additionally, while the term kennel cough can be useful in discussions with pet owners, it has become synonymous Bordetella bronchiseptica and may cause confusion as dogs with an appropriate vaccination history and robust immunity can still be infected with other CIRDC pathogens.”

Which dogs can get CIRDC?

The article states: “Any dog ​​can become infected with CIRDC-associated pathogens; however, young dogs and dogs with pre-existing respiratory conditions (e.g., bronchiectasis, airway collapse, ciliary dyskinesia) may be more susceptible due to compromised airway clearance, as well as dogs in high-density environments or those who are immunologically naïve or immunocompromised (endogenous or exogenous) are at increased risk and appear to develop more severe disease.

Doesn’t vaccination help coughing dogs?

Help? Yes. Completely prevent? no

The papers author says“Patients with current vaccinations against B bronchiseptica and parainfluenza virus appear to have attenuated the clinical signs. Vaccines are not available for many of the viruses involved in CIRDC.”

Attenuated simply means fewer or reduced symptoms.

However, there are NO vaccines for some of the suspected pathogens.

How bad can CIRDC get?

Veterinarians divide the cases into uncomplicated and complicated depending on the severity in different coughing dogs.

Veterinarians divide the cases into uncomplicated and complicated depending on the severity in different coughing dogs.

so called “uncomplicated” cases characterized by an acute but self-resolving cough, with dogs coughing ugh. Such cases typically resolve in 10-14 days and may require prescription cough suppressants.

“complicated” cases, on the other hand, become quite serious with the likelihood of pneumonia, fever (103-104 degrees F), and a higher respiratory rate and greater dyspnoea and exertion. These coughing dogs can also sound crackly through a stethoscope. Coughing dogs with complicated CIRDC often require initial hospitalization and subsequent treatment for 2 to 6 weeks with multiple necessary medications as recommended by your veterinarian. The author says, “Although the prognosis is generally good, subsequent development of severe pneumonia due to systemic inflammatory response syndrome may progress to sepsis or multiple organ dysfunction.”

Leave a comment