How long is kennel cough contagious after antibiotics?

Answered by Tom Adger

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs. It is commonly caused by a combination of viral and bacterial infections. When a dog has kennel cough, they can spread the disease to other dogs through coughing, sneezing, or close contact.

The duration of contagiousness in dogs with kennel cough can vary depending on various factors, including the severity of the infection and whether antibiotics are used for treatment. In general, dogs with kennel cough are considered contagious for about 10-14 days. During this time, they can spread the infection to other dogs they come into contact with.

However, it’s important to note that the use of antibiotics can help expedite the recovery process and reduce the contagious period. Antibiotics are typically prescribed when there is a bacterial component to the infection, which is common in cases of kennel cough. By treating the bacterial infection, the dog’s symptoms can improve and the contagious period can be shortened.

When antibiotics are used, the contagious period of kennel cough can be significantly reduced. In some cases, dogs may no longer be contagious within a few days of starting antibiotic treatment. However, it’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by a veterinarian to ensure the infection is fully eradicated.

It is worth mentioning that while antibiotics can help shorten the contagious period, they are not always necessary for every case of kennel cough. In mild cases, where the dog is otherwise healthy and not showing severe symptoms, supportive care such as rest, hydration, and monitoring may be sufficient. However, if the dog’s condition worsens or does not improve within a few days, it’s important to seek veterinary attention to determine if antibiotics are necessary.

In my personal experience as a dog owner, I have encountered kennel cough in my own pets. In one instance, my dog developed a persistent cough that lasted for several days. I took him to the veterinarian, who diagnosed him with kennel cough and prescribed antibiotics. Within a few days of starting the medication, his cough improved significantly, and he no longer showed signs of being contagious. However, I followed the veterinarian’s instructions and completed the full course of antibiotics to ensure the infection was fully treated.

To summarize, dogs with kennel cough are generally contagious for about 10-14 days. However, the use of antibiotics can help shorten this contagious period, often making the dog no longer contagious within a few days of starting treatment. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment of kennel cough to ensure the best outcome for the affected dog and to prevent the spread of the disease to other dogs.