Ever wonder why it seems nearly impossible (for me, anyway) to get off a long plane ride and not come down with a sniffle the following week? I've heard that it's in part because of the close quarters, shared air, and low cabin humidity that makes germ transmission all too easy. But what does this have to do with pets, you may wonder? Turns out, like the common cold, the same factors can come into play with the canine cough, too.

Sometimes called "kennel cough," this is a complex of infections usually consisting of the bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica and two viruses called Parainfluenza virus and Adenovirus and even an organism called Mycoplasma.. And, like the human version of the common cold, the organisms that cause canine cough are airborne and can spread quickly and easily in any closed environment. If you board your dog, you'll see Bordetella on the list of required vaccinations, but not all vets will standardly suggest this shot. Learn more about it when you read more.

While there is a risk of transmission anywhere pooches congregate, kennels, daycare, and boarding facilities often have a similar environment to the airplane – a large number of dogs, or people, in one enclosed spot makes it a germy danger zone! This vaccination can be administered either as a shot or drops in the nose – with the intra-nasal Bordetella vaccine producing immunity slightly faster than the injectable version and lasting between six and 12 months. If your unlucky pup happens to come down with this illness, it's not usually a life-threatening disease but, like reverse sneezing, it's a noisy problem that sounds like something is caught in your pup's throat. The dry, hacking cough can last from 7 to 21 days but the majority of dogs with the ailment continue to eat, sleep, play, and act normally . . . except for that persistent, annoying coughing that is.

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