I thought I'd revive this, as I'm going through a bout of Canine/Kennel Cough with my dog (Maltese X, 4 yrs old).
Here's a really good article I found on it, which explains the common sources of it and why most vets prescribe antibiotics.
My little doggy has been coughing for 9 days as of today. I figured it was a cold/kennel cough and was fine with just keeping him home and giving him honey to soothe his cough, until Friday when he became listless, didn't want to eat, wasn't drinking much and hadn't defectated all day (he normally poos 2-3 times a day). We toughed it out over the weekend, with me trying to get him to eat rice cooked in chicken broth, soaked kibble, and finally on Sunday force-feeding him a blended mix of rice, chicken broth, mushed kibble & plain yogurt. I only got about 1.5 oz into him, but not long after that he went outside and poo'ed, so I felt better. I did, however, take him to the vet today just to make sure that he didn't have anything more severe than Canine Cough as I'd read an article about coughing in dogs and wanted to make sure he was ok.
So now it's a confirmed case of Canine Cough, which most article (and my vet) agreed usually runs itself out in a range of 7-21 days. And as this is an average, like in people, there will be some dogs who get better in less than 7 days and some who take more than 21. I'm hoping Cube's is almost done!!
My vet gave me Clavamox (antibiotic) to prevent his viral infection from turning into a bacterial one (which can result in pneumonia), however, I am going to hold off on giving it to him unless he seems to get worse, as I do not want resistant bacteria.
She also prescribed Dextromethorphan (cough syrup) to ease his symptoms, but because of his size, I had to buy the children's version, which is flavoured and he doesn't like it. I will most likely switch back to the honey I was giving him previously, or buy some of the herbal cough syrup I've used before (the brand I'm familiar with is Nin Jiom: http://www.itmonline.org/jintu/ninjiom.htm
So this brings me to the other thing... I have been working at a doggie daycare, and Cube has been coming with me. I know this is where he picked it up, because this particular place does not require vaccinations for Canine Cough because they are under the impression that it is caused by as many different viruses as the Common Cold in humans. I've read a lot about Canine Cough in the last few days and don't personally believe that it is caused by that many things, however, Cube *has* been vaccinated for Canine Cough--Jan/07--and the majority of dogs lose their vaccination immunity to Canine Cough sometime between 6-12 months after vaccinating. The AHT at the clinic told me most of the dogs they see with it come in around 10 months after vaccination. The other thing to note is that the most severe cases (where it turns into pneumonia and other complications) happen in dogs that are NOT vaccinated for it at all, which tells me that even if it doesn't offer 100% protection, if it will lessen his symptoms should he contract it, that's worth it to me. Please note that in the article I posted earlier, it says that animals can continue to pass the Bordatella virus on up to 14 weeks after initial infection; though my vet said he would be ok to be around other dogs (back at daycare) after New Years (another 2 weeks). My thought on that: if people are going to choose not to vaccinate their dog against something, then as long as Cube is happy and showing no symptoms, he will go to daycare with me--and if other dogs get Canine Cough from him, well, I can't help it. Cube is due for his annual vaccines in January and he will be getting the Canine Cough vaccine again--however, I think I will take him back in July for a second round of it.
Anyhow... hope that helps someone. Here's hoping speedy recoveries to all affected animals and strong protection for all healthy/vaccinated ones.