Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Canine Conultant - Kennel Cough In The GTA

Kennel Cough in the GTA

In recent years across southern Ontario numerous veterinary clinic have reported high numbers of ‘kennel cough’. I am writing today to help clarify a lot of the unknown about ‘KC’.

What is ‘Kennel Cough’? If you ask a vet they will tell you that it is Bordetella Bronchiseptica for the most part. It is common practice for vets to call any number of viruses ‘KC’. Just like when humans get the ‘flu’ there can be many strands of a virus.

How to best protect your dog from ‘KC’? Although this is a debated topic, the greatest defense to ‘KC’ is to get an annual Bordetella Vaccination. Some vets and other advocates preach ‘natural’, and advise not to get the annual vaccine, for a better overall health. This group generally is against any and all inoculations, this is a whole other discussion saved for a future dates. The majority of vets will say to annually vaccinate your dog to help limit the chances of contacting the virus. The Bordetella vaccine is along the same lines as our flu shot, a vaccinated dog is not an immune dog, they can still get a virus that the vaccine did not cover.

Kennel Cough is contagious; it can be transmitted via airborne spores, fluids, and most certainly from direct contact with infected dogs. Symptoms may include episodes of continuous coughing that many times we/owners mistake for chocking. Sometimes we simply dismiss the coughing and say to ourselves ‘they just have something stuck’ and are trying to clear their throats. Do not ignore a coughing dog! Some viruses may include a runny snotty nose, very lethargic actions, and a total lack of appetite. If your dog does contract ‘KC’ which is pretty likely in the course of their lives, what should you do?

1. Call your Vet.

2. inform your vet that you think he/she may have Kennel Cough ( the vet may ask that you keep your dog in the car until they are ready to treat, or they may have you be the last appointment of the day… this is due to the highly contagious nature of the virus )

3. Treat accordingly

4. Keep your sick pooch away from all other dogs for at least 1 week after medication is complete.

Humans get the ‘flu’; dogs get ‘Kennel Cough’ in both cases if treated early and properly you can expect a quick and full recovery. On the flip side just like humans and the ‘flu’, if a case of ‘Kennel Cough’ is left untreated it can develop into a much more severe medical condition.

In my opinion it is best to keep your dog regularly vaccinated with the Bordetella shot, to help reduce
the chances of contracting the ‘Kennel Cough’ virus. As always if you have any questions or queries
please do write me I am your Canine Consultant, looking forward to serving your needs one step at a
time, be it 2 legs or 4.

Matthew Belvedere aka the Canine Consultant

No comments:

Post a Comment