How Long Does Kennel Cough Last?

Kennel cough can affect different dogs in different ways, largely depending on the exact cause of the illness. Either bacteria or a virus may cause it. A mild case can be resolved within about six days if it is caused by the parainfluenza virus. However, if the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria has infected the dog, then the illness may last longer. In this case, the symptoms can persist for about 10 days.

Factors that might complicate recovery

It is also possible for a dog to develop kennel cough and be infected by both the Bordetella bacteria and the parainfluenza virus. If this happens, then the dog will likely be sick for about 14 to 20 days. In addition, some dogs may contract it after having a bout with the canine flu, the distemper virus, or the Mycoplasma canis. These dogs may be at a higher risk of contracting pneumonia as a secondary infection after developing kennel cough. This will result in a more prolonged illness.

In addition, a dog that has originally contracted the viral form of kennel cough may later contract a secondary bacterial infection. This will require additional treatment, and it will likely lengthen the total recovery time.

Which dogs may recover faster

There can be considerable variations in the healing time from one dog to the next, depending on a dog’s state of health before the infection. A dog who is in good overall health before the infection will typically have an easier time fighting off the illness than a dog who is in poor health. Dogs in young adulthood also tend to have an easier time coping with infections, especially when compared to very young puppies, as well as senior dogs. It should also be noted that dogs can remain contagious after the symptoms of kennel cough have dissipated. Typically, veterinarians recommend isolating recovering dogs for two weeks to prevent the spread of the illness.