Kennel Cough: The Little Beach Dog Protocol
Kennel cough is a blanket term used to describe an infectious, contagious illness in dogs. The obvious symptom is a horrible cough that can be very concerning for your furry family member. Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, describes the location of the infection in the trachea or 'windpipe' and bronchial tubes. Unfortunately, kennel cough symptoms come from multiple viruses and are easily transmitted, so prevention is about as inevitable as the common cold for humans. That being said there are protective measures available to insure if your dog does become ill, it will bounce back quicker, and stop the spread. The Little Beach Dog has a defensive protocol in place to protect all of the dogs at daycare.
Before we highlight preventative measures let’s look at a few issues that make this illness tricky to navigate. Kennel cough is basically the term used to describe the symptoms brought on by multiple viral and bacterial infections. The most common is bordetella bronchiseptica. But there are multiple contagions that cause kennel cough, such as canine adenovirus type 2, canine parainfluenza virus, canine respiratory coronavirus, and mycoplasmas. Unfortunately, some pet owners think that once their dog is vaccinated for bordetella they are safe from kennel cough. But because kennel cough is a broad term used to describe multiple infections, the bordetella vaccine doesn’t insure your dog will not catch the illness in one form or another. Please refer to your veterinarian should you have any questions concerning the vaccine and your dog's risk factors.
Because the illness is spread through multiple contagions, this disease is hard to stop, but it gets trickier. All of the above-mentioned types of viruses and bacteria types of the illness are also highly transmissible. This means the spread of disease is easily transferred from dog to dog. Transmission happens through direct contact, airborne droplets, and contact with contaminated surfaces. The other inevitable factor in the transmission of the disease is that the virus can be shed three days before symptoms become present in your dog. This makes spreading any of the contagions mentioned very hard to stop. Because kennel cough is so easily transferred any dog that is social runs a greater risk of contracting the illness. Some high-risk places include veterinary facilities, clinics, boarding facilities, doggie daycare centers, training centers, dog parks, and dog shows. It’s also important to note, all dogs are at risk. It simply takes contact with any of the mentioned contaminants. So even a stay-at-home dog, out on a walk, runs a certain risk, albeit lower than a more social dog. No dog is exempt from kennel cough. Just like no human is exempt from the common cold.