Why Can’t My Dog Bark After Returning From the Kennel?
If your dog suddenly can’t bark when he or she comes home from a kennel, then there’s a strong possible that they could have contracted some form of kennel cough while they were boarded. This disease is essentially a canine version of a cold or flu that can cause laryngitis, which in turn can hurt your dog’s vocal cords.
Dogs with kennel cough often try to bark and produce a raspy sound instead. Since professional detatched dog kennels have a tendency to keep animals in close proximity to one another, there’s always a risk that they could pass a viral or bacterial infection to one another.
A vet can give your dog an antibiotic for bacterial kennel cough. While there’s technically a vaccine for viral strains, kennel cough mutates so fast it may not actually prove effective in many cases.
Fortunately, if your dog has kennel cough he or she should recover in a week or two. Make sure to take good care of them during this time, just like you would if you were watching over a child who had the flu.
Dogs with separation anxiety might have barked so much while they were in the kennel that they’ve gone hoarse. While they’ll soon recover if that’s the case, you do want to make sure that your dog is properly socialized if this happens.
There’s a good chance that any dog who misses their family that much can’t be separated from people for too long. In some cases, dogs simply shouldn’t be kenneled for personality reasons.
Other Reasons Dogs Go Hoarse and Lose Their Bark
Canine obstructive airway disease, OAD, is probably the most common other reason that dogs lose their bark. This is sort of a generic diagnosis for any condition caused by some obstruction that blocks the back of a dog’s throat or their trachea.
This disorder can be brought on by dogs swallowing without chewing their food. If you give a dog a bone that can easily splinter, then there’s also a good chance that they can develop this problem.
Since conditions in some kennels aren’t very sanitary, dogs will sometimes find something to chew on while they’re boarded that they probably shouldn’t be chewing on. If they swallow something hard like a piece of a broken dog toy, then they might develop OAD.
Identifying the blockage and removing it will normally solve the problem. A more serious issue comes in the form of the possibility of a cancerous growth.
Just like humans, dogs can develop cancerous tumors, though they normally take a long period of time to develop. Larger breed dogs can also develop laryngeal paralysis over time, which is a condition that reduces their ability to bark for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to those who practice veterinary medicine.
Acute polyradiculoneuritis is another rarer condition, but it might cause problems for animals who were exposed to raccoon saliva. For reasons that vets still aren’t sure of, dogs who get out of kennels and run into wild animals will sometimes develop this condition and suddenly find themselves unable to make noise.
They might also start to have some problems breathing, which is a serious medical condition if left unchecked.Dogs that are from certain genetic lines might end up developing a similar condition called myasthenia gravis. You’ll know a dog has MG because they also find themselves unable to move properly as well as bark.
Pet owners would normally know about these kinds of conditions long before they boarded their dogs in a kennel, however.
How to Fix It
Kennel cough is somewhat easily fixed if your dog casually picked it up from being boarded, but there’s a risk that it could become more serious over time. Most dogs will recover from the disease in three weeks at the most, but you’ll need to take your animal to the vet if he or she has developed a secondary infection.
If your dog has shakes or a productive cough, then you need to take them to the vet. You’ll also want to take your dog to a vet if they end up running a fever.
You vet can also prescribe a cough suppressant if your dog has a cough that’s not necessarily productive but painful for your animal. Any of these symptoms might suggest that your dog has developed a secondary infection on top of the original case of kennel cough.
More mild cases can often be taken care of at home by simply making your dog comfortable and feeding them a softer diet than usual. Think of how you might treat yourself or a loved one with a case of the flu.
Obstructive airway diseases caused by dogs gobbling something up at the kennel can sometimes be fixed simply by reaching into your dog’s mouth and removing the object. This is especially true if they just have a bit of a toy or other material in their mouth.
You don’t want to put your mouth into their throat if there’s any risk your dog might bite, however, which they may if they’re in pain. Take your dog to a vet if they show any signs of having splinters in their mouth or throat, because these need to be removed using special tools.
If your dog can’t bark due to having gone hoarse from barking, then this should normally resolve itself after a few days. However, any dog who barks that much when separated from his or her family is showing clear signs of separation anxiety.
You’ll want to start either minimizing or changing the cues you give your dog that you’re leaving home, which can eventually help to desensitize your dog to the issue of you leaving. Depending on how your dog takes to you not being there, you may wish to increase the amount of time your dog spends apart from you gradually.
Over a period of a few weeks your dog may start to learn that just because you’re not around that moment doesn’t mean you aren’t coming back.