What is it? Canine Cough (also knows as kennel cough or infectious tracheobronchitis) is an upper-respiratory infection that can be spread at dog parks, training classes, playgroups, neighbourhoods, dog shows, kennels and, yes, daycare. It is typically seen around October and March in our area and is transmitted very easily from dog to dog via air droplets. Oftentimes, Canine Cough will affect all the kennels and shelters in the area at once. Symptoms include a dry or gagging-type cough that sounds a lot like your dog has something stuck in his throat. Besides the cough, most dogs will act completely normal. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Canine Cough can be caused by a virus, bacteria or both. In some cases, your dog's immune system will take care of Canine Cough. However, there are some reasons why your dog should be seen by a veterinarian including - if your dog is young, old, has other medical issues, breathing problems or if you notice other symptoms besides the cough such as lethargy, lack of appetite, worsening or deepening of the cough, excessive coughing or anything else that is not normal for your dog. Your veterinarian can prescribe an antibiotic and a cough suppressant if needed.
My dog has a current bordeltella vaccination. Can he still get Canine Cough? Yes, the bordetella vaccination (just like the human flu shot) protects against some, but not all strains of canine cough, so it is still possible for your dog to develop a cough even though he's up-to-date on his bordetella vaccination.
What does Woof Dah! do to minimize the risk of Canine Cough? Although we make every effort possible to minimize the risk of illness, (including extensive sanitation processes and supervision to watch for dogs who may be sick) it is important to know that dogs can spread Canine Cough for 7-10 days before and several weeks after the cough is present, making it impossible for our staff to isolate dogs that may be carrying germs. We do, however, immediately isolate any dog that is coughing. To assist you in making the best choices for your pet, we will notify you via email if we receive reports of cases of Canine Cough. If you haven't signed up for our emailing list yet, click here to do so. If you have any further questions about Canine Cough, Jillian would be more than happy to assist you. (Staff Tip: We have noticed that dogs who attend daycare regularly, or who have had Canine Cough before seem to be far less susceptible to contracting Canine Cough.)
What happens if my dog becomes ill while I am out of town?