Canine cough (or kennel cough) is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It causes tracheobronchitis (inflammation of the upper respiratory tract) resulting in a dry, hacking cough. It may seem like the dog is choking. Fortunately, most dogs recover from canine cough without treatment, but certain individuals such as very young or very old dogs with compromised immune systems, may develop more serious disease that does require treatment.
Canine cough is an airborne disease which can spread amongst dogs through the air, direct contact or sharing contaminated items such as water and food bowls. The disease is more likely to occur where large numbers of dogs are in close proximity to each other, such as at boarding and daycare facilities, parks and shows. It also spreads rapidly through a street or block in a suburb.