Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease – Could my dog be at risk?
“Kennel cough”, or more appropriately named Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease, is classically found in dogs that have constant contact or kept in situations with large dog populations (i.e., a boarding kennel, vaccination clinic, obedience class, local park, animal shelter, animal hospital waiting room, or grooming parlor). Many cases of acute coughing in these dogs are likely due to infectious causes and usually represent some form of “kennel cough”.
There are numerous infectious causes of a case of “kennel cough” including viruses (influenza, parainfluenza, etc), bacteria (Bordetella bronchiseptica), or mycoplasma infection. In most cases of “kennel cough”, it is not uncommon for more than one infectious agent to be involved. This infectious cough may be of brief duration and not warrant any treatment at all, or it may progress all the way to a life-threatening pneumonia.
Uncomplicated cases do not involve fever, listlessness, or in-appetence, just a lot of coughing, and will typically run its course in a week or two. Complicated cases will require treatment with a course of antibiotics or hospitalization.
Vaccination and proper hygiene play an important role in the prevention of these diseases. Although vaccines for these infections do not prevent 100 percent of infection, they are important in reducing the severity of infection and the spreading of disease to other animals. Proper hygiene not only includes effective cleaning, but also keeping animals with possible infection separate from others at day cares or boarding facilities.
Together, with proper veterinary care and preventative health of our pets, we can limit exposure to these “kennel cough” infections. Please contact us to discuss any questions you may have about preventative care and the health of your pet.
Joshua Malouin, DVM.