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It’s Kennel Cough Season – What You Need To Know!

Does your dog have “a snotty nose and a dry, hacking cough?”  According to the American Kennel Club, Kennel Cough is a contagious respiratory disease commonly contracted at places where canines congregate, such as boarding and daycare facilities, veterinarian offices, dog parks, training groups, dog shows or even retail stores. Dogs can spread it to one another through airborne droplets including barking, direct contact such as touching noses, or contaminated surfaces like food and water bowls.  Kennel Cough is highly treatable in most dogs but can be more severe in puppies younger than six months, seniors and immunocompromised dogs.

Kennel Cough is the dog equivalent of the human cold.  There’s not much you can do to prevent them from catching it, but rest and lots of fluids help recovery.  Symptoms such as runny noses, coughing or vomiting don’t begin until the virus has been incubated for 7 to 10 days.  It’s during this incubation period that the virus can spread, so it’s virtually impossible to know who already has it.  Once your dog shows symptoms, they are no longer contagious, but as with a small child, you want to limit their activity and excitement levels to keep the signs from getting worse.  Just as a human cold can progress into more serious illnesses like pneumonia or bronchitis, puppies, seniors and dogs with compromised immune systems should be monitored closely for symptom progression that could require medications from your veterinarian.  

When should your dog resume regular activity?  When s/he has been entirely symptom-free for at least a week -- no coughing, vomiting or lethargy, and all needed medications are complete.  If you have any doubts, questions or concerns about your dog’s condition, always seek advice from your veterinarian.

Information provided by Central Bark Doggy Day Care, where our personal approach to your dog’s care makes all the difference.  For more information on how our staff trained in animal behavior can make every day your dog’s best day, visit www.centralbarknola.com or call 504.832.WAGS.  

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