Although commonly known as kennel cough, a more accurate term is canine cough. This is because this highly contagious airborne upper respiratory infection can be contracted basically anywhere dogs are gathered or frequently passing each other such as the beach, popular walk ways, dog parks, reserves and yes the boarding kennels, groomers, doggy daycares, vets and pet shops. All it can take to pass on the infection is a cough, a friendly lick, sniff or even sharing a ball or stick. That is why it is important to vaccinate your dog against canine cough even if they don’t go into boarding kennels or doggy daycares. Healthy dogs with canine cough are usually bright and alert but with a dry hacking cough, or bouts of harsh coughing followed by gagging motions which can sometimes bring up foamy mucus. They can even sometimes sound like they have something stuck in their throat and some dogs may sneeze and get watery discharge from the eyes and nose. In compromised dogs such as young puppies, elderly dogs or dogs with existing respiratory issues, canine cough can be quite serious and in very severe cases can lead to pneumonia. As with human colds, we know there are many different strains that can be caught, this is the same for canine cough. So it is important to vaccinate against the most common strains that are out there, but unfortunately we can’t vaccinate against all the strains. It is possible (although not common) that your fully vaccinated dog could still catch canine cough. Usually, if vaccinated, the clinical signs they show are a lot milder than those dogs that have not been vaccinated. If you suspect your dog has canine cough and you are bringing them to the clinic we advise to leave your dog in the car while we have a chat with you, we may examine your dog outside. If your dog is diagnosed with canine cough we recommend to keep them away from other dogs for 14 days.