The dogs is vaccinated for kennel cough would actually get it worse than the dogs that were not vaccinated for it. I stopped giving the vaccination a few years ago and have had much better success. Now if someone picks it up it is pretty mild.
It's passed much like a cold is passed in humans, through a bacteria or virus. Usually it's like a cold for us, too, meaning not fun, but not that bad either. I was taking my Akita puppy to a class at the local shelter, and of course, shelters are places where things like this crop up and are hard to control. I suspect she brought it home (she has had the mildest of coughs, but it is almost gone). Oskar is the one who couldn't fight it off well. Here's an article on kennel cough: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/kennel-cough-in-dogs
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