Max (In loving memory)

If a dog has kennel cough, is it likely that he will suffer long-term respiratory problems?

A dog we wanted to adopt from the Humane Association is now on medical hold because of kennel cough (with a low grade fever). We would like to be educated as to whether or not we'll be adopting a dog that can hopefully be healthy in the long term. My aunt has a lot of experience in dog training, and she says we absolutely shouldn't get this dog--that dogs with kennel cough always have long-term respiratory problems, forever. This doesn't seem to be in agreement with the research I have done. I was wondering what your thoughts are. He is also pretty thin. I have seen worse, but you can see his ribs at the moment. He may have been abused. Yet, he is sweet and friendly with people and other dogs, though seems a bit more subdued than one would expect of a dog his age (of course, he could've been sick when we observed this). Looking forward to your thoughts.

Asked by Max (In loving memory) on Sep 23rd 2007 Tagged adoption, dog, illness, kennelcough, respiratory in Illness & Disease
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I do not agree with your aunt. In my experience, normal Kennel Cough (KC) does not lead to permanent respiratory damage.

2 of my adult fosters had it and recovered in no time. My own dog Maxwell had a more severe version of it which took about a week to treat, and it did not leave any lasting effects on him.

My current litter of foster puppies just finished 2 weeks of daily medication for their KC. However, they are still coughing phlegmy coughs. *SOME* KC is persistent. But I have never heard of it having lasting effects. I suspect that my foster puppies are having a hard time of it because of their young age. It is hard to be sick when you're only 3 months old and haven't quite built up immunity yet.

As for the dog you are interested in, if the only thing that is concerning is the KC, I would adopt him anyway. But that is just me. This dog can and will lead a healthy life if all he's got is simply KC.

Jasmine answered on 9/23/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Respectfully, I think your aunt is dead wrong.

YOUR research is correct. Kennel cough is a common, usually benign condition that affects most dogs at one point or another in their lives. I've NEVER heard of an otherwise healthy dog having long term effects from a properly, sufficiently treated case of kennel cough.

The vast majority of kennel cough cases are quite similar to human upper respiratory infections, or viruses. Recent research may actually show that antibiotics aren't even needed for most of the cases of kennel cough.

When we adopted Jack, he had quite a bad case of kennel cough. He got over it in the normal amount of time (10-14 days) and has been healthy ever since.

It is VERY common for shelter dogs to have kennel cough; dogs in the shelter have weakened immune systems from stress and from surgery if they are spayed or neutered. Also, since there are so many bugs that cause kennel cough, sometimes even vaccinated dogs get it.

Don't count him out!

Jack answered on 9/23/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer