Kennel Cough in Dogs

Kennel Cough
Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)

The key word is complex.

It is not a single organism disease.

It is similar to the common cold in people in that multiple organisms (ten or more) may be involved and there is not a vaccine to protect against all of them.

We do have quality vaccines against three of the causative agents- adenovirus, parainfluenza, and bordatella.

The current standard of care is to use both intranasal vaccine drops and injectable. No vaccine protocol can be 100% effective in preventing the disease. The intranasal vaccine stimulates the type of immunity that traps germs along the surface of the respiratory tract.

The subcutaneous vaccine stimulates the type of immunity that attacks the germs that manage to get below the lining of the respiratory tract and into the body.

The adenovirus and parainfluenza antigens are in every distemper vaccine we administer. It is another reason why yearly boosters are important.

The immune status of any one pet is unknown. Laboratory blood titers do not correspond to a pets active resistance to respiratory disease. Even vaccinated pets exposed to the many “bugs” of CIRDC has the potential to develop a serious illness including sneezing, laryngitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Pet owners must be aware that taking pets to dogs parks, daycare facilities, grooming, and boarding kennels may expose their pet to this disease complex. A vaccination protocol with properly scheduled booster vaccines is the only way to decrease the incidence and severity of CIRDC. Ask our veterinarians what is best for your pet.