These days, we are all taking precautions against COVID to protect ourselves and each other; however, we also need to ensure that we are taking precautions to protect our pets against Kennel Cough this winter.
Local veterinary clinics have seen an increase in cases of Kennel Cough lately and according to an informative email sent out to customers from Paws Republic Centre for Pets – “no one with a pet or a pet care facility is immune.”
Kennel Cough, which many dogs are vaccinated against with the Bordatella vaccine, is an upper respiratory infection that can affect dogs like a cold does in humans. “There can be both viral and/or bacterial causes of canine cough and they are spread through airborne droplets produced by sneezing or coughing,” Paws Republic explained.
Although many canines receive their Bordatella vaccine, it does not last forever, and it is not 100% effective against all strains as many other strains are viral and cannot be vaccinated against.
Paws Republic Centre for Pets also noted that Kennel Cough “is very common in places where pups are playing together or congregate such as kennels, dog parks, play groups, training groups and even vet clinics or other areas where they are all spreading germs like the kids at a human daycare.”
In the majority of cases, kennel cough will clear up on its own with many dogs not displaying any severe symptoms; however, if you do notice your dog coughing, gagging, sneezing, discharge from their nose or anything else out of the ordinary, ensure that you begin to isolate it to avoid passing it along to other dogs. In some cases, dogs will experience fever and diarrhea. Kennel cough can lead to pneumonia if left untreated, which can be fatal.
With an incubation period of up to 14 days, many dogs have kennel cough prior to displaying any symptoms, which means “much like COVID, contact tracing is key”, Paws Republic Centre for Pets owner/operator Kristine O’Brien explained.
If you suspect your dog many have kennel cough, it is recommended that you contact your veterinarian as well as quarantine your pup until they are a minimum of ten days symptom free to help protect against the spread.