Kennel Cough


We’ve recently seen a couple cases of Kennel Cough (aka Bordetellosis or Canine Tracheobronchitis) from our customers.  Couple this with what we’ve heard from local vets and we thought we’d write about it.

What is it?

To start, kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease.  Symptoms of the disease often manifest several days after being around other dogs.  In many respects, it is similar to when a child goes to school and interacts with other children who may have a cold.  The disease can be transmitted from direct contact (e.g. at daycare, dog parks, passing during walks, etc.), contaminated surfaces (e.g. water bowls), and airborne particles.

At Friends of Toto, it is a requirement that all of our guests be vaccinated against kennel cough.  Being vaccinated, however, does not necessarily mean your dog will not get the disease.  Just as with colds, there are various strains of the disease that the vaccination may not cover.  Generally, if your dog does have the vaccine, the symptoms will be less severe, but it is still possible to contract.

Per the AKC, some symptoms include: “A strong cough, often with a ‘honking’ sound . . ., runny nose, sneezing, lethargy, loss of appetite, and low fever.”  PetMD adds “retching” as a symptom.

Treatment Options

Treating the disease will depend on the severity of the symptoms and your dog’s medical history.  Your veterinarian is in the best position to provide treatment options and should be consulted with the onset of symptoms.  These symptoms can also be indicative of other, more serious, diseases.

If you do observe symptoms, it is best to not bring your dog to daycare.  If we observe symptoms, we will isolate your dog for the safety / protection of our other guests.  We will also alert you to our observations.  Remember:  Our facility is an “open” environment.  Just as it’s not a good idea to send a sick child into a classroom of healthy students, it’s not a good idea to send your sick dog to daycare to infect other dogs!

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