Coughs and colds is part of life for humans and rarely will a cough turn into a serious condition.
However if your dog begins to cough it is time to seek immediate advice from your vet as Kennel Cough, whilst rarely serious, may lead to more serious health issues if not treated early on.
You may think “kennel cough, but my dog has never been to and never will stay in kennels” but in fact kennel cough is so named because the infection can spread quickly among dogs who are in close contact – such as the close quarters of a kennel – but it is certainly not a disease exclusive to the kennel environment. Indeed in Australia it’s not called kennel cough.. it’s just called “canine cough”
A simple vaccination can make kennel cough almost completely avoidable and dog owners are urged to contact their veterinarian to discuss their options. Click here for some further information about kennel cough.
Companion Care veterinarian Saskia Klauck from the Pudsey surgery was forced to issue a warning to dog owners in her area as she began to treat more and more dogs with kennel cough.
Saskia Klauck said that the number of cases being presented constituted an outbreak. “We are treating up to three cases of kennel cough a day and advise any owners who have not already had their dog vaccinated against this highly contagious disease to contact their veterinarian immediately.”
Kennel cough is so named because the infection can spread quickly among dogs who are in close contact – such as the close quarters of a kennel.
Saskia said, “It is a common misconception that if your dog is not going to be put in a kennel then he or she is safe from this disease. However if your dog is in regular contact with others, out on walks or at training classes there is a risk of infection as it is easily spread through contact with contaminated surfaces including pavements and toys.”
“The simple vaccination minimises the chances of getting kennel cough. I strongly advise it as in some cases kennel cough may give rise to a more serious health concern if not treated early on, especially in older dogs.”
If you suspect your unvaccinated dog does have kennel cough…
A dog with kennel cough will have a “hacking,” persistent cough and often coughing is bad enough to cause the dog to vomit, especially if a meal has just been eaten.
If your dog is coughing the best course of action is to contact your veterinarian as early treatment is recommended. If you have more than one dog advise your vet when you visit as the disease is highly contagious.
If your vet diagnoses kennel cough your dog may be prescribed a course of antibiotics. Kennel cough is primarily caused by bacterial and viral infections and the antibiotics, dosage of which will depend on your dogs’ size and weight, more often than not work well to clear the infection.
Always follow your vets’ advice on administering medication to your pet and it is likely you will need to take your dog back to the vets for a check up to ensure the infection has cleared.
The simple kennel cough vaccination is an additional vaccination to the annual booster injection and needs to be administered by your vet. The vaccination is unusual in that it is given via the nose and lasts from 6 months to a year, depending on the vaccine used by your veterinary surgeon.
Ask your veterinarian for further information on kennel cough.
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