Is your dog protected against kennel cough (infectious bronchitis)?
Although known as kennel cough, in fact it isn’t caught in kennels! On the contrary, your pet is more likely to encounter the disease wherever dogs meet, eg parks, heathland, other areas where dog walkers frequent, in the street, dog training and socialisation classes and dog shows.
Kennel cough is a highly infectious cough that affects dogs of all ages, causing symptoms of severe whooping-like coughing and breathlessness as well as high temperatures, a sore throat and lack of appetite. Even in mild cases, the need for isolation (due to being infectious and the need to prevent infecting other dogs) can hinder normal exercise, routine and socialisation. Coughing can last for some weeks and during this time more serious complications such as pneumonia may arise and can even prove fatal in older, weak or very young dogs.
The condition is caused by a mixture of viruses and a bacterium called Bordetella Bronchiseptica. There is a vaccine available, although unlike your dog’s normal routine vaccines this one is given by intra-nasal drops. This is easy to administer and offers protection for a full 12 months. It can be given to dogs of any shape, size and age, including puppies from three weeks of age and provides protection in just 72 hours.
We always recommend that dogs are vaccinated against kennel cough and even more so when going into kennels, dog shows, training classes or at other times when the disease is rife. Most cases seen are from a chance encounter with another dog whilst out walking and this is why we recommend that ALL dogs are vaccinated.
More information on kennel cough can be found at: www.future-of-vaccination.co.uk/kennel-cough-dogs.asp
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. w: www.hillsidevets.co.uk.