Ask the Veterinarian/KENNEL COUGH.


My chug was diagnosed 6 days ago with kennel cough.  Treatment began that day.  I am wondering how long before symptoms appeared and for how long after treatment begins is a dog contagious? Can it be passed to another dog by their walking side by side?
I thank you so very much for being there to answer questions.

Hi Jo,
That is actually a tricky one to answer, as kennel cough refers to any one of many viruses and bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections. Usually dogs take up to 3 weeks to recover, but that period can be extended up to 6 weeks if you have an older immunosuppressed dog.

Usually the virus is spread by coughing or sharing water or food bowls. Walking with another dog, if one is coughing can lead to spread of the virus and/or bacteria. Cough particles can travel a metre away easily. Sometimes dogs cough more when pulling on the lead.

Usually vaccination for kennel cough includes the Bordatella bronchiseptica bacterium the parainfluenza virus and canine adenovirus. There are however other viruses that cause the disease, so even a vaccinated dog can still get kennel cough. It does at least tend to be less severe in vaccinated dogs.

I hope that helps a little.

Dr. Eloise Bright

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Eloise Bright


I am a vet with a special interest in dermatology, particularly allergic dogs and cats, behaviour and acupuncture. I work mainly with dogs and cats. If you are wondering why your pet is still itchy, despite good flea control, or why your dog licks his feet, I may be able to give you some solutions. I'm currently very passionate about behaviour and am doing some further education in this area. So if you have a troubling behaviour with your dog or cat, such as barking, leash reactivity, anxiety or a dog who is a little wild and difficult to control, I may be able to help you with some solutions.


I work in an area of Sydney where we see lots of allergic pets. I think behaviour problems are very common and I help a number of owners find solutions that will restore peace to them and their pets. Currently I enjoy answering questions, providing advice and writing pet care articles for

I graduated as a vet from Sydney Uni in 2006 and have since been completing my Masters in Small Animal Practice and am also updating my skills with a behaviour course through Sydney Uni.

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