A question we get asked from time to time with it being a requirement for any dog boarding or indeed visiting us at the kennels.

What is kennel cough? Also known as Bordatella or Canine Cough. It is not usually in the regular annual vaccines given at your vet but it is good practice to keep it up to date if your dog socialises with other dogs or visits dog facilities with other groups of dogs.

There are two reasons we ask for it to be done:

a) Reduce the risk of a dog bringing it into the facility and spread it to other dogs.

b) Reducing the likelihood that a dog will acquire kennel cough whilst staying with us from another dog that brought it in.

Quite simply put it us a kind of dog flu vaccine, usually given inter nasally with a quick puff up the nose and is effective must of the time for up to 6 months to a year dependent on the brand given, your vet will advise which and mark the expiry date down in your dog’s vaccine book. Immunity usually starts anything from 5-7 days after given. Therefore if your dog is coming to visit us this vaccine needs to be administered a minimum 7 days prior to arrival with us. No vaccine is 100% effective. Vaccines help reduce the risk of illness, but they don’t completely eliminate it. Some vaccines are better than others, and some animals respond better to vaccines than others.

What is it and what are the symptoms of Kennel Cough?

It us not too dissimilar to a chest infection like in humans. It is airborne and highly contagious which is why it can spread quickly amongst a group of dogs.

It is a respiratory infection caused by a number of viruses and bacteria. For the most part it is not dangerous and usually clears up in a couple of weeks with or without veterinary prescribed meds. A dog will cough and not likely suffer any other ill effect, although puppies, senior dogs and those with other medical co conditions may suffer adverse effects.

The obvious symptom is a forceful, hacking cough, which will sound like your dog has something stuck in their throat. The cough can be dry and hoarse or productive, in which case it can be followed by a gag, swallowing motion or the production of mucus. It is distinct from a cough-like sound known as reverse sneezing, which is common in certain breeds and is triggered by irritation in the throat.

Always check the expiry date in your dog’s vaccine book and think ahead before booking to allow enough immunity time to elapse before your dog arrives.

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