Winter and Spring is often the time when we see the most Canine Cough and this year it seems to be particularly prevalent.


Canine Cough (or Kennel Cough as it was previously known) is primarily caused by two organisms, Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parinfluenza virus. Various other viruses, especially Canine Adenovirus type 2, and various species of bacteria may also be involved. It is a highly contagious disease that usually infects dogs in areas where they socialise, such as parks, obedience classes, dog shows and kennels.

The classical symptom of Canine Cough is a harsh hacking cough that often finishes with gagging. The coughing is usually made worse by exercise, excitement or pressure on the throat region. Severely affected dogs may also have fever, lethargy and reduced appetite. Coughing may persist for many weeks or months despite treatment. To protect dogs against Canine Cough, they should be vaccinated against the important causative organisms of Canine Cough.

Vaccination against Canine Cough is usually commenced at 12 weeks of age.

Adult dogs should receive yearly boosters for Canine Cough.

What follows is a more technical discussion of Canine Cough and Bordetella and tries to explain why we vaccinate for what seems mostly to be a bad cough....