Kennel cough, or infectious tracheobronchitis, is an infection of the trachea (windpipe) and large air passages of the lungs. The cause is believed to be a virus, and the disease spreads easily and rapidly from one dog to another. Although your pet seems to be alert, you will notice the sudden onset of a harsh, deep cough, followed by gagging. Recovery is usually through medication, which may be necessary for several weeks. Proper vaccination has reduced the incidence of this condition.
With treatment, recovery is usually complete, although medications may be necessary for weeks. Rarely does "kennel cough" cause pneumonia. If the doctor is suspicious, an X-ray of the lung may be recommended.