Kennel Cough in Puppies

The thought of kennel cough in puppies can be extremely scary, especially if it is very young pups we are talking about.

When our dogs were first exposed to kennel cough, we had a litter of 7 day old puppies in the house, and I was not a happy camper!

Fortunately, the puppies never got it.  They were housed on a different level in my home than the infected dog was, but I still took extra precautions.

First, I put the sick dog on antibiotics, as he developed a secondary bacterial infection.

Then I gave all of the adult dogs an intranasal bordetella vaccine, including the nursing momma, and the dog that was already sick.

I made sure when the nursing momma had to come upstairs to be able to go outside to the bathroom, that I did not have the sick dog any where near her, and shut him inside of another room, when she came through the house.

I walked her through the house, on a leash, straight to outside, then straight back downstairs again, so she couldn't stop to smell or lick anything that the exposed dog had been near.

I also used a separate entrance, so she was pottying in a different part of the yard than the other adults dogs were.

The puppies were too young to be able to give them a preventative vaccine, but none of them ever got sick, and the whole litter stayed healthy and safe.

Nowadays, there are vaccines made that can be given to puppies that are as young as 2 weeks of age. 

Personally, I don't routinely give bordetella vaccines to pups that are this young.  For me, there would need to be a good reason for it, such as a knowing they were somehow exposed to kennel cough.

For older, already weaned pups, you can give them the vaccine when they are given their other vaccinations.

If a puppy has already contracted this illness, you will need to follow the same treatment as you would for an adult dog, but watch them carefully.

Their immune systems are not quite as strong as an adult dog's system is, and therefore they have the potential of getting progressively sick much quicker.

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