Dogs have always been man’s best friend, haven’t they? With their loyal eyes, wagging tails, and the unending affection they provide, it’s no surprise that these lovable creatures have cemented their place in our hearts.
However, as a dog owner, whether first-time or seasoned, one of your greatest responsibilities is to ensure their health and wellness. One health concern that often sends dog parents into a whirlwind of worry is kennel cough.
This article aims to answer that one burning question: what does kennel cough sound like?
Table of Contents
What Is Kennel Cough?
Imagine a summer cold, annoying and discomforting, but generally harmless if treated right. Now translate that to the canine world—that’s kennel cough. Also known as Bordetella, kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease primarily affecting our four-legged friends.
It gets its name from the fact that it spreads quickly in places where dogs congregate, like, you guessed it, kennels!
A Vocal Sign: The Sound of Kennel Cough
Here comes the crunch point—what does kennel cough sound like? If you could personify it, it would perhaps be an uninvited orchestra at the break of dawn. Not a pleasant wake-up call, right?
- A Distinctive Cough: Kennel cough is characterized by a strong, persistent cough that has a distinct ‘honking’ sound. Some dog parents describe it as if their pet has something stuck in its throat or as though they’re trying to clear their throat of an obstruction. Think of it like a goose honk or a duck quack echoing in a quiet room—startling and not easily ignored.
- Retching or Gagging: In addition to the cough, dogs with kennel cough often exhibit a gagging sound, usually after a bout of vigorous coughing. This can be misconstrued as an attempt to vomit, but often, nothing comes out. It’s akin to a dry heave in human terms, isn’t it?
Before we go any further, let’s pause and think for a moment. How many times have you dismissed a minor cough or a gag thinking it’s just a tickle in your dog’s throat? Quite a few times, I bet.
Why Does Kennel Cough Sound Like That?
The peculiar sound of kennel cough can be attributed to the inflammation in the dog’s larynx and trachea. Imagine the scratchiness in your throat when you have a cold, causing your voice to change. That’s pretty much the story in the life of a dog with kennel cough—only, it’s much worse for them.
Are All Dog Coughs Kennel Cough?
Just as not all that glitters is gold, not all coughs in dogs are kennel cough. Coughs in dogs could be indicative of a host of other issues, from a simple throat irritation to more serious concerns like heart disease. Here’s a quick rundown of different types of dog coughs:
- A dry, hacking cough may suggest a foreign object lodged in the throat or trachea.
- A moist, productive cough might indicate pneumonia or other respiratory infections.
- Coughing accompanied by wheezing could be a sign of asthma or allergies.
- Persistent coughing, especially in small breeds, may be a sign of a collapsing trachea or heart disease.
Can you see how it’s a world of difference with each type of cough?
What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Kennel Cough?
Hearing the harsh sound of kennel cough from your beloved pet can indeed be distressing. But fret not! The first step is to get a vet’s opinion. Remember, self-diagnosis or treatment based on Dr. Google’s advice isn’t the best route for your furry friend.
Preventing Kennel Cough: What’s in Your Arsenal?
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. So, how can we prevent our dogs from getting this dreaded cough? Here are a few steps:
- Vaccination: Regular vaccinations can significantly reduce the chances of your dog contracting kennel cough.
- Hygiene: Maintain a clean environment for your pet, especially if it’s a place where multiple dogs congregate.
- Avoid crowded dog spaces: During outbreaks of kennel cough, try to keep your dog away from highly populated dog areas.
In the End…
Just as the distinctive laughter of a loved one etches itself in our memory, as dog parents, we should familiarize ourselves with the sounds our dogs make, especially the worrying ones like kennel cough. It might not be music to your ears, but understanding it could be instrumental in preserving the health and happiness of your canine companion.
Remember, our dogs might not be able to speak our language, but they communicate with us in so many other ways. A cough, a whimper, a wagging tail, each is a verse in the poem of their feelings. Are we ready to understand their poetry?