Meet Rocky, the Lodge’s March Dog of the Month! Rocky is an adorable little mixed breed, possibly some type of yorkie or poodle? It doesn’t really matter though because Rocky is a furry bundle of love! This little man has been with us since he was a young pup, and it has been a joy [...]
Meet Rocky, the Lodge’s March Dog of the Month! Rocky is an adorable little mixed breed, possibly some type of yorkie or poodle? It doesn’t really matter though because Rocky is a furry bundle of love! This little man has been with us since he was a young pup, and it has been a joy watching him grow up. He is a bouncy, playful little guy who thinks every dog he sees is his new best friend. Not only is he a social butterfly, Rocky is also quite fashionable- he has a wardrobe full of clothes, including t-shirts, raincoats, booties, a bathrobe, and his very own long-john pajamas! Needless to say, Rocky is quite the pampered little socialite pooch! With his big dog personality packed into that fluffy little body, we are so happy to have him as part of our pack! Congrats Rocky!
Canine cough or kennel cough is a condition which is frequently misunderstood by dog owners. Despite the fact kennel cough got its name from its prevalence and propensity to spread quickly between dogs in boarding kennels; kennel cough is not an infection which is exclusive to – or caused by – canine kennel facilities.
So what is kennel cough exactly?
Essentially, kennel cough is an infection of the canine upper respiratory tract. It can be caused by a wide range of different viruses and pathogens, with Canine Para influenza, adenovirus, corona virus, distemper and Bordetella bronchiseptica being the most common culprits. Kennel cough is a highly contagious condition which can spread throughout a close-quartered community of canines within a relatively short space of time.
How is kennel cough spread?
Both the viral and bacterial forms of kennel cough are airborne; this is why it is so highly contagious. The main way kennel cough spreads is through the coughing and sneezing of affected dogs. This causes mucus and fluids containing the virus or bacteria to get diffused into the air, thereby making it incredibly easy for other canines to inhale. Like many other types of viral and bacterial infections, the kennel cough pathogen can – in certain conditions – survive outside of a dog’s body for a protracted period of time. In these circumstances, canine paraphernalia, such as food bowls and toys, can act as harbors for the condition and infect unaffected dogs while they eat, drink or play. Most people are intrigued to learn that kennel cough is one of a number of zoonotic infections that can be passed on to humans from animals. Although this type of transfer is quite rare, it is possible for people with weak or poor performing immune systems – such those who are very young, very old or medically compromised – to contract the condition. Healthy people, i.e. individuals with very strong immune systems, can spend a lot of time around dogs infected with kennel cough without fear of becoming affected in any way.
What are the signs of kennel cough?
There are a number of signs which can help dog owners to identify the presence of kennel cough. The most significant of these are:
- A persistent, forceful cough
- A runny nose
- Sore/inflamed throat
- Frequent sneezing
- Tearful/inflamed eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and lack of interest in exercising and playing
The problem with symptoms is that as with the common cold, the displaying of symptoms comes after an incubation period, so dogs without symptoms may be infected. There is some dispute over how long this period lasts however, as articles and experts disagree. It is commonly believed to be 7-9 days, but ranges have included anything from 3 to 14 days.
What is the best way to treat kennel cough?
Although fit, healthy dogs with robust immune systems are often able to fight off a kennel cough infection by themselves, owners shouldn’t see this as a possible solution. Dogs that are exposed to kennel cough will invariably suffer as a result, as even the strongest canine immune system will take a battering from a respiratory infection of this potency. Moreover, dogs that are left to fight off kennel cough by themselves will incubate and carry the condition around with them for an extended period of time, thereby increasing the risk of passing it on to other dogs considerably.
The best way to treat kennel cough is to obtain veterinarian-approved medications that will help to fight the condition, such as antibiotics. Cough suppressants and humidifiers can also be beneficial as they can help to reduce the pain and inflammation which accompanies the characteristically persistent coughing.
Is there a way to prevent kennel cough?
The most effective way of preventing the contraction and transmission of kennel cough is through vaccination. All dog owners are advised to get their canines vaccinated as this will significantly minimize the chances of their dog contracting kennel cough or becoming a carrier for the condition. The kennel cough vaccine is often given separately to the combined injectable vaccine which veterinarians typically administer for other common conditions so owners will need to look into their local vet’s policies and guidelines on vaccinations before making an appointment. The vaccine itself usually comes in the form of a nasal spray as this helps to produce a localized immunity within the cells of the nose and prevents possible viral or bacterial kennel cough infections from being able to enter the lungs.
It should be noted that practically all reputable boarding kennels, dog shows and dog training classes in the US will insist dogs being brought onto their premises have been vaccinated against kennel cough before they are granted access.
Meet Smokey – the Lodge’s dog of the month! Smokey is a handsome blue pit bull with a heart of gold! This wiggle butt is one of the sweetest dogs. He LOVES to play with every dog that comes in for a visit. Smokey is very easily entertained – he will happily bat toys around the playgroups just to pounce on them and then throw them into the air. During the afternoons, he loves to bask in the sun for a quick nap. This happy go lucky sweetheart is a wonderful pittie ambassador and a great member of the Fog City pack! Way to go Smokey!