So, kennel cough. Yes, it is a thing, and its not pretty. For most healthy dogs, it can be barely as bad as a cold. But for young or weakened dog, it can be serious enough to require veterinary intervention and medications.
We are dealing with it t home right now, our Lab puppy Rey was not vaccinated for kennel cough because she was given other vaccines each of our puppy visits. Our older Frenchie, Leia, was. We use Maplegrove Park (wonderful place, wonderful people) as a daily exercise that Rey needs and Leia tolerates. Recently, the park announced the outbreak, and that communal waterbowls would be removed, and requested they not be replaced. Unfortunately, someone had replaced them and before we noticed, our dogs were using them. We don’t know 100% that is where they were infected, but it seems the most likely vector, considering the timing.
Winnipeg is experiencing an epidemic of kennel cough, with warnings being issued through most of the media, so in case any of our readers haven’t heard, please be cautious and follow these tips.
Kennel cough is an upper respiratory infection that can be viral or bacterial in nature, and in many cases, is both. Many dogs are vaccinated for bordatella, the virus associated with kennel cough, but this does not mean you should be lax in your prevention measures.
We are pretty inundated with information about how to stop the spread of respiratory viruses today. Preventing the spread of kennel cough is very similar to what we are living in the age of COVID.
In visiting dog parks, try to limit the exposure of your dog to others, especially if the other dog is symptomatic. The best prevention is to eliminate interaction with other dogs altogether, try finding alternate places to exercise. These places will require, in most cases, that you keep your dog on leash, which is a good precaution anyway. It allows you to control the interactions your dog has with others.
If you choose to utilize the leashless park system, please do not bring your dog if it is symptomatic, and please do not use or out out communal water dishes. Many dog parks have banned the use, and taken up the bowls, only to have well intentioned people replace them. Yes, hydration is very, very key right now, in the midst of a heat dome, but please be a responsible pet parent and bring water and a drinking vessel for your pet so they do not share bowls, and potentially, disease.