Asked by Member 552896 on Jan 2nd 2008 in Other Health & Wellness
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Our Gang

We don't treat kennel cough with antibiotics unless it becomes severe. Kennel Cough is caused by a virus and antibiotics won't help unless it is progressing into pneumonia or something similar. We have used Robitussin successfully, but my preference is to treat it as you would a child with a cold. Run your shower in your bathroom on HOT and get the bathroom nice and steamy. Sit in the steamy bathroom with the dog, the steam will help loosen the congestion and make breathing easier. Giving the dog warm broth will also help loosen the congestion. You can use a cough medicine if the cough is keeping the dog from eating or drinking but it is better to allow the dog to cough and get the gunk out of its lungs. If you do use cough syrup, speak to your vet first. Some types are unsafe for your dog and you also want to be sure to get the correct dosage

Our Gang answered on 1/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I think generally a dog can recover from kennel cough on their own, and there are a few things you can do at home to help them, like the post above mine said. I would still at least call your vet for his/her advice. Shinji's vet told me that you can give dogs regular cough syrup for kennel cough, but I definitely wouldn't do that before speaking with your vet to get any specifics there might be about brand, dosage, etc. When he gave it to Shinji, he just called in a prescription to a human pharmacy for a cough suppressant.

I understand not wanting to give your pup antibiotics, but if he isn't showing signs of improvement pretty soon, I would take him to the vet for some. In an extreme scenario, kennel cough can turn into something serious like bronchitis or pneumonia. You definitely don't want him to develop something like that.

Shinji answered on 1/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I agree that antibiotics should be used in severe cases. They are prescribed to make sure a secondary infection doesn't have a chance to take hold.

If I had a small, fragile dog, a puppy or an older dog, I'd ask for antibiotics at the vet's office.

But, as someone else said, kennel cough is caused by a virus. In fact, it is caused by a few different strains of viruses, which is why some dogs contract it even though they've had the shot; the shot only protects against certain viruses.

My advice would be to get a diagnosis from your vet for sure, unless you're very experienced with kennel cough.

Make sure he gets plenty of rest and is warm while he recovers. If he's not better within a week or if he gets worse, its time for those antibiotics.

Antibiotics can decrease a dog's immunity, but if used wisely, it is only a temporary decrease and shouldn't be a problem.

Also, make sre you keep your dog indoors until he's done coughing. This is highly contagious!

Jack answered on 1/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer