Help I Think My Schnauzer Has Kennel Cough!

There are few things worse than picking your child up from school and seeing they’ve developed a nasty cold in just a few hours since you last saw them. Well, finding out your beloved schnauzer has the kennel cough can probably match that dread as well. 

We’ve got you covered so you’re prepared should this ever happen to your furry friend. Let’s dive into what kennel cough is, home remedies, when to go to the vet, and if this contagion is preventable.  

What Is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is an upper respiratory infection.

A quick Google search of this topic is enough to make anyone feel nervous. Take the National Library of Medicine for instance. They share that kennel cough is another word for Canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CDIC). 

Kennel cough can be caused by “several different bacterial and viral pathogens. These pathogens are often highly contagious, and coinfections are common. Clinical signs are frequently mild and self-limiting; however, some individual cases progress to severe disease.” 

We realize the above statement makes it seem very terrifying. But, in layman’s terms, kennel cough can be compared to a cold; however, it can quickly wreak havoc on your schnauzer’s immune system. We have to do our best to look out for the symptoms of kennel cough so we can immediately find solutions to help them (which we will discuss later on in this post.) 

Common Symptoms of Kennel Cough

Their cough will get worse with the more activity they do.

The Callan Veterinary Group shares that the three most common symptoms to look out for are the famous cough, change of attitude, and runny nose. 

  1. Dry Sounding Spasmodic Cough – the cough might appear funny sounding like a “honking”, or a very nasty “hack” sound. 
  2. Depressed – the change in mood can include the lack of wanting to play around or not doing their normal daily routine. 
  3. Nasal Discharge – this type of runny nose will be a very clear discharge, nothing too alarming, but a great first sign that your schnauzer has kennel cough. 

Once you see these symptoms you’re already at an advantage in helping stop the spread of this contagious cough to other dogs, while also caring for your schnauzer and getting them better before it gets worse. 

What is The Fastest Way to Cure Kennel Cough at Home?

Most dogs can recover within a week.

So, your furry friend starts coughing, and you immediately start to get worried. Don’t go into a panic thinking you need to take them to the emergency vet right away. Just as humans need a little time when we are sick, so do our schnauzers. If your pup is wagging its tail and going about their normal daily activities, it sounds like they just need a special homemade remedy. 

Now you might be preparing for the most difficult concoction you will have to come up with to ensure that your schnauzer gets the cure they need. However, the absolute fastest way to get rid of kennel cough is simply by rest and fluids. You can also add wet food into their diet during this time, which may prove to be very helpful for their throat. 

When we as humans have colds, we have to let it run its course. And if we just allow our schnauzers the opportunity to rest their bodies and continue to take fluids, the majority of the time it will clear right up. 

Make sure to also limit the exposure that your schnauzer has with other dogs. Kennel cough is highly contagious, so if your dog has it, then it’s very likely the other dogs they are around have it as well. Keep your schnauzer at home and avoid parks, play dates, and being out with you on errands. 

When Should I Take My Schnauzer to the Vet for Kennel Cough?

Get with your veterinarian to see if your puppy needs an antibiotic.

Of course, home remedies aren’t always the solution to kennel cough. We have to be prepared to take our schnauzers to the vet if it warrants it. If your schnauzer is showing decreased signs of getting better by lack of appetite, reduced energy, lack of their normal fun-loving self, or excessive vomiting then it is time to take them to the vet. 

The majority of the time kennel cough will just clear up on its own. But, we don’t want to give you the impression that it can’t be extremely serious, because it can be. Now don’t jump to the conclusion that your beloved schnauzer could die, because that’s not the case. However, they can develop pneumonia. In smaller pups, this is known as bronchopneumonia, and in senior dogs or those who don’t have a good immune system, it is chronic bronchitis. All of these would justify a vet visit. 

Preventing Kennel Cough for Schnauzers

Keep your puppy away from other dogs that may have kennel cough.

Of course, the absolute best solution is that there is a way to stop kennel cough from even coming. And we wish that there was some magic potion available to deter every type of disease or potential germs that might harm our schnauzers. But, all we can do is try to prevent it. Let’s look at the top four ways to do this. 

  1. Vaccines – The American Kennel Club shares that there are nasal sprays and injectable vaccines available that can immunize them against kennel cough. If your dog is regularly around other dogs at daycares, kennels, or even doggy dates while you and your friends meet, then consider asking your local veterinarian if a vaccine is right for your schnauzer. 
  2. Boost Immune System – Much like humans, dogs also can benefit from having a good immune system. This helps them to fight oncoming sickness, faster recovery time, and longevity of life. We can help our schnauzers boost their immune systems through a balanced diet, supplements (such as fish oil, probiotics, or even some herbs), and minimizing stress. 
  3. Good Hygiene – This is the oldest advice in the book for preventing sickness. Sometimes dog owners don’t like to regularly bathe their dogs because certain dogs don’t like water. But, bad hygiene is the fastest way to spiral into a weak immune system which can cause kennel cough. So, put hygiene at the top of your list when caring for your schnauzer. 

Taking care of our schnauzers when they are sick is no fun. But, with some homemade remedies, patience, and a lot of love we can usually keep our fluffy companions wagging their tails and getting through kennel cough as smoothly as possible. 

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