How it is spread:

  • - It is spread quite easily from dog to dog by nasal droplets in aerosol form so coughing, sneezing and nose-to-nose contact spreads the disease
  • - It is very contagious
  • - It is one of the most common infectious diseases seen in dogs in Ireland
  • - It is very possible that if one dog is incubating the disease then this dog could infect up to 48 dogs on an eight-race night
  • - It seems to be more prevalent over the summertime

What causes it:

  • - There can be multiple agents causing the issue
  • - The main bacterial cause is called Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • - The main viral agent is called Canine Parainfluenza virus, though other viruses such as Canine Adenovirus 1 & 2 and Canine Herpesvirus can also be involved.
  • - Environmental issues – Large numbers of dogs spending time together in close proximity and often sharing bowls, coats and muzzles
  • - Host immune factors – If dogs are stressed due to training/racing, vaccination status or overall health status
  • - Once affected dog’s symptoms may persist for days or even weeks.

To control the disease:

  • - As treatment of the infection can be difficult, prevention is more effective
  • - Ensure that all greyhounds going to a track for racing or trials are vaccinated
  • - Pups should get a kennel cough vaccine (given intranasally) when getting their 7 in 1 vaccination at 12 weeks
  • - Greyhounds should get a kennel cough vaccine every 12 months
  • - Sharing of muzzles, dog coats and bowls should be ruled out

If your dog is sneezing or coughing, you should not attend a racetrack for a trial or race with that dog or any dog within your kennels, as in the case of Kennel Cough, all of those dogs will have been exposed and likely infected.