Greetings Furbaby Pet Care friends. In this blog, I want to update you on kennel cough and the rigorous steps we undergo on campus to protect your pet.
Have you noticed your dog starting to cough? Should you be concerned?
A dog can cough for a number of reasons. But if your dog is hacking away and the cough sounds like a goose’s honking noise, or your dog is making noises like he is constantly choking on something and it is not going away – it may be kennel cough. Kennel cough can have multiple causes, but the most common culprit is a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica (which is why kennel cough is often referred to as Bordetella).
There is a vaccine that is highly recommended for dogs to help prevent your dog from getting kennel cough. What is important to note though, is it is not a 100% guarantee that your dog will never get kennel cough, as there are many strains of this virus – just like the flu in people. Dogs become exposed to kennel cough when they inhale bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract. The tract is normally lined with a coating of mucus that traps infectious particles. But there are a number of factors that can weaken this protection and make dogs prone to kennel cough infection, which results in inflammation of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe).
These factors include:
- Exposure to crowded and/or poorly ventilated conditions
- Cold temperatures
- Exposure to dust, campfire or cigarette smoke
- Travel-induced stress.
Kennel cough is contagious. Your dog can be exposed to it at the pet store, the dog park, the dog daycare, anywhere where there are other dogs. If you think your dog might have kennel cough, you should keep the dog away from other animals and contact your veterinarian. Although most cases of kennel cough will resolve without treatment, medications may speed up recovery or minimize symptoms during the course of the infection.
Most cases are mild, consisting of a dry hacking cough, sneezing and nasal discharge, and last from one to two weeks. Some dogs may carry the virus and show no symptoms, yet they can shed the virus and infect other dogs. Symptoms may not appear during the incubation period for up to 10 days. Most dogs recover completely within 3 weeks – longer if the dog is senior or has other medical conditions. Because serious, ongoing kennel cough infection can lead to pneumonia, we urge you to follow up with your veterinarian regularly.
At Furbaby Pet Care, we have stringent policies and procedures in place to mitigate any potential contagions. We have the highest of standards of cleaning practices in place. We use veterinary grade cleaning solutions, and are cleaning consistently and frequently washing water dishes for the safety of your pets. Our facility is also highly ventilated with industrial size ventilation fans. When your dog is with us, their safety and happiness is our primary concern.
Yours in pet safety and love,