Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis

Canine infectious tracheobronchitis, also referred to as kennel cough is a highly contagious, multifactorial disease of the dog's respiratory tract. It is generally transmitted through coughs and sneezes, or by nose to nose contact. Dogs kept together in close confinement are therefore at greatest risk of infection.

The disease can spread rapidly, even in the best run kennels. Lasting up to six weeks, it is extremely unpleasant for the dog and gives a very bad impression to the owner. But it is the owner, rather than the kennel, who should bear responsibility for protecting their dogs, since effective vaccines are now available.

Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza virus are the most common bacterial and viral agents associated with the disease, but environmental factors such as stress, ventilation and climate can also contribute.

Dogs of all ages can be infected and exhibit a characteristic dry, harsh, paroxysmal cough - sometimes accompanied by retching. Complications such as bronchopneumonia may develop and can be fatal in old, weak or very young dogs.


There is one vaccine that provides year round protection against both the major causes of this disease, with full onset of immunity within three days of administration. It is recommended that you require all clients to have their dogs vaccinated at least three days prior to admission. However, for dogs which have not previously been vaccinated against this disease, it is advisable to allow 14 days between vaccinations and admission to your kennel. This avoids the risk of animals being boarded that may be incubating the disease at the time of vaccination.

Support materials

To help encourage owners to vaccinate, we can supply you with a number of free postcards, for you to send or give to your clients. It tells owners everything they need to know about kennel cough and directs them to their vet for vaccination.

A poster is also available for your reception area. For further details about kennel support materials, please call 01908 685685.

Kennel cough dog image