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Kennel Cough In Dogs

Dog with big stick in its mouth running from a lake

As with people in winter, spring and summer can be seasons for viruses in pets. Already this year we’ve treated pets in our Pet Hospital with very unpleasant symptoms resembling what’s known as "kennel cough." Contrary to what the name suggests this is not just a disease we see when dogs have been to kennels. In fact, dogs are at risk wherever they contact other dogs, i.e. grooming, passing dogs on the street, visiting friends with dogs, and dog parks. A better name for “kennel cough” is Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease.

The main symptom we see is a harsh dry cough. But we’ve also seen more “cold-like” symptoms such as a runny nose and eyes. Symptoms can last up to 2 weeks in non-vaccinated dogs, but are less severe and more brief in vaccinated dogs. Dogs are very contagious whilst coughing so should be kept home and away from other dogs during this period. Like a cold, there is no cure for this virus, but we can manage symptoms and prevent secondary infections. Mild cases will resolve with no treatment, but call us if symptoms cause your pet discomfort.

If you’re preparing to board and notice these symptoms in your dog, please communicate with us ASAP before arrival. Within our facility we take all precautions possible to minimize the risk of these infectious diseases to your pet while they’re in our care. This includes not accepting symptomatic dogs or dogs undergoing treatment for any infectious respiratory diseases into our care. We also require the Bordetella vaccine and recommend the Canine Influenza vaccine for boarding here at Lafayette Veterinary Care Center. Our best recommendation is to vaccinate for Bordetella every six months. 

Preparing to visit our Pet Resort or Playground soon?  Click here to download our app and check your pet’s vaccination status to ensure they’re up to date!