If you are considering boarding your pet in the near future it is important that you know about the implications of Canine Cough or Kennel Cough.
What is Canine Cough or Kennel Cough?
Canine cough (or Kennel Cough) is a highly contagious condition that inflames the upper respiratory system of dogs. It can be caused by a bacterial infection or a virus. The main symptoms are a “honking” type cough often followed by gagging. Although not normally deadly, it is a common ailment that requires disease prevention strategies and awareness.
Canine Cough is easily transmitted via the air wherever infected animals are in close contact with other animals such as kennels, dog parks, dog shows and training classes.
How Can I Help Prevent Canine Cough?
If your dog is going to be in contact with other dogs in an environment like this it is best that your dog is immunized against the prevalent strains of the disease Bacterial – (Bordetella bronchiseptica) and Viral – Parainfluenza. In fact, most pet boarding facilities in Australia require an up-to-date vaccination before they will allow your animal to check in. Nothing could be worse that arriving at a facility on your way to the airport and finding that they won’t take your precious pet!
Many kennels in Australia will require a current C5 vaccination or a C3 vaccination + a Canine Cough booster, usually dispensed every 12 months. The complete C5 vaccination covers all the potentially deadly Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica. Please check with your chosen Kennel as to their specific requirement to make sure your pet has the required immunization.
Be aware that vaccination just as in humans with flu vaccines does not mean that your pet is completely protected. There are many strains of the virus and if your animal has an immune deficiency they may be more prone to disease in general. There are no kennels that guarantee that kennel cough does not exist in their facility as no amount of supervision or highest level of hygiene practices can completely eliminate the presence of Canine Cough.
How Do Kennels Deal with Canine Cough?
If Canine Cough is detected at a pet boarding facility the standard procedure for Pet Boarding facilities is to segregate the animal to lower the risk of transmission of the disease. They will also treat the animal to make sure they are comfortable and in a low stress environment. Be aware that you as the Pet owner would be responsible for an Veterinary expenses incurred by the kennel should your dog be require treatment for canine cough whilst at the facility.
Kennels also play their part in reducing the risks of Canine Cough infection. By requiring up-to-date vaccinations prior to check-in, they can maintain a good preventative baseline for all the animals under their care. Many Pet Resorts use Kennel Software such as Pet Manager to simply maintain and alert when a customer’s vaccination records are not up-to-date. They also keep their kennels clean with scheduled cleaning rosters. Some also regularly spray with Veterinary disinfectant to more effectively control causes of disease such as bacteria, viruses, fungus and spores.
What To Do if Your Animal Shows Symptoms of Canine Cough.
Symptoms of Canine Cough can take up to 7 days to appear. So if you pet shows any signs of Canine Cough after staying at a Pet Boarding facility, make sure that he/she gets plenty of rest and is well hydrated. If the symptoms persist or your pet becomes lethargic then don’t risk it and take them straight to the vet.