The Mannford-area is experiencing a drastic increase in canine Kennel Cough cases the last few weeks. We thought it appropriate that we take a moment and share what it is, what to look for, and what we can do about it.
What is Canine Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is similar to the common cold in that it is very contagious, usually mild, and is caused by a variety of “bugs”. It is very, very contagious and is transmitted by any droplet transfer: coughing, sneezing, nose-touching, etc.
Kennel Cough Symptoms
Kennel cough is usually mild in healthy animals however, symptoms can be quite irritating to the pet and your family. Common symptoms include the following:
- nose and/or eye discharge
- loss of appetite
These symptoms usually start out quite mildly, but a consistent, hacking cough that may end in gagging is the most common symptom we see. Unfortunately, this is also how the disease is spread.
How do we treat it?
Treatment of Kennel Cough is focused on clearing out bacteria causing the symptoms, bacteria that could worsen the disease (lead to pneumonia), and ease the symptoms. Treatment usually consists of oral antibiotics, mild oral steroids for the cough, with or without cough syrup if it is severe enough. There are many methods of management at home as well (see below) that can ease your dog’s symptoms.
Good news, we can prevent Kennel Cough!
There is a vaccine for Kennel Cough! As a bonus, it is an oral vaccine, so not pokes for Fido. It is recommended to be given yearly, although some facilities that house several animals at once (groomers, boarders, animal hospitals, etc) require it to be administered every 6 months, depending on risk levels.
Do we have Kennel Cough vaccines?
We absolutely do! Calling ahead is required however, we do routinely stock and administer Kennel Cough vaccines!
How old does my dog need to be to receive the Kennel Cough vaccine?
Your puppy must be older than 8 weeks!
Who is most at risk for Kennel Cough?
Dogs that have not been vaccinated, that are around unvaccinated animals are at the highest risk:
- Grooming facilities
- Boarding facilities
- Training classes
- Dogs that run free in the country
- Dogs that share fences with other dogs