Kennel cough is commonly transmitted through the air, on toys, food bowls and other shared objects – with its most obvious symptom being a forceful, hacking cough
A concerned woman is reminding dog owners of the symptoms of kennel cough after her pet contracted the highly contagious disease.
Kennel cough, otherwise known as canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC) – is commonly transmitted through the air, on toys, food bowls and other shared objects.
Its most obvious symptom is a forceful, hacking cough, and it usually requires no treatment, though it can be fatal for puppies and elderly dogs or canines with underlying health conditions.
Sharing a video of her dog on Reddit, the woman has been urging other owners to contact their vets if their dog develops a ‘rattling-sounding cough’.
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She said: “Our dog was diagnosed with kennel cough last night. It’s a pretty mild case at this point so at the vet’s recommendation, we’re going to ride it out and see how he does.
“I thought I would share the video in case there are dog owners out there that haven’t seen kennel cough before so they can get an idea of what it looks and sounds like.
“It’s a rattling-sounding cough before so they with fits that can end with the dog hacking or gagging like they’re trying to get phlegm out of their chest – not unlike humans when we get a chest cold.
“Often the cough is accompanied with lethargy, loss of appetite, runny nose and sneezing, and a low grade fever.”
It comes after emergency vet, Dave Leicester, head of the Video Vets Now service at Vets Nowissued a warning to UK owners following a kennel cough outbreak in America.
I have told The Mirror: “Catching kennel cough involves exposure to a whole range of different viral and bacterial organisms.
“It’s common for dogs and puppies with kennel cough to be infected by more than one of these at the same time.
“Dogs who are stressed, malnourished, or have weakened immune systems, are often more susceptible to the condition.
“However, the infections are very transmissible so any dog could become infected.”
Dave says dogs catch the illness through contact with another infected animal by inhaling aerosol droplets of an infected dog’s cough.
He explained: “They can also catch it by eating and drinking from, or even licking, an infected bowl or toy. Outbreaks are common wherever dogs mingle, especially in kennels, parks and puppy parties.
“So, that’s why we can often see some regional outbreaks of the illness, as is reported in South Florida at the moment.”
If kennel cough does appear in your area, you may be advised to avoid busy parks, daycare and shared water bowls.
Dave continued: “While highly contagious, the condition is, in most cases, not serious and will improve, without treatment, on its own within a few weeks.
“There are exceptions to this, however, and owners of elderly dogs, puppies and dogs with underlying health issues should monitor the condition closely as it can in rare cases develop into severe disease,”
Dave explains the optional kennel cough vaccine can help reduce the severity of the disease but cannot prevent it completely.
He said: “The vaccine only protects against a single bacterial agent, Bordetella which, whilst extremely common, is not the only bacteria which may be involved.
“The core annual vaccine injections also usually provide cover against one of the most common viruses implicated, but there are other viruses which may be involved, for which there are no vaccines available.”
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