Kennel Cough Update

FOX 32 News Chicago

There have been many people concerned about the recent upper respiratory outbreak in the Chicagoland area.  For our patients, we recommend phoning us if you see any of these signs:
Signs for the parainfluenza and kennel cough include –




Decreased appetite


Nasal discharge

Ocular discharge

In general, we are recommending that owners avoid high dog concentration locations (kennels, dog parks etc.) until this outbreak resolves.  Dogs can be contagious before showing signs.


Kennel Cough/Influenza/Bronchitis/Pneumonia Treatment Options

At home:

Excellent high protein, low carbohydrate, moisture appropriate food.

Fresh clean water, extra healing fluids (chicken broth, bone broth) warmth, low stress, rest

Supplements to support the respiratory system & immune system –

· Possible medical treatments include antibiotics for secondary infections
· Fluids to maintain hydration and clearing (Oral, SQ or IV)
· Possible hospitalization if pneumonia is present
· Fresh clean water
· Also Extra healing fluids – Chicken broths, bone broths
· Warm, rest, low stress, TLC
· If congested: Steam in bathroom 1-3 x daily
· If still congested: Once a day– can steam and add essential oil treatment using ONE DROP of Essential Oil Respiratory Clearing Combination (available at RTVC) on a cotton ball in the bathroom to help clear sinuses.


Parainfluenza Virus plus Bordatella bronchiseptica commonly found in animals that are ill, but there are other viruses and bacteria that can play a role.  Typically signs will last only 5-10 days.  Vaccines can help prevent.  There is an oral bordatella vaccine that us effective and safe.  The intranasal vaccine for bordatella typically also contains a vaccine for the parainfluenza virus.

But even though most animals in kennels have been vaccinated, this outbreak is still happening.  So the vaccine is not necessarily as protective as we would like.  The Kennel Cough vaccine only protects about 40% of dogs.

Vaccinating can cause a temporary decrease in the immune response (5-10 days) so there may even be some risks be careful if you are vaccinating during an outbreak if pet is going to be exposed during that time. It is possible that the oral and intranasal vaccines do not carry the same decrease immunity risk as the injectable forms of the vaccine.

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