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Summer is Canine Cough Season

Summer finally has arrived, things were cool and wet this spring, but now the sun is out and it is definitely warmer! We have a lot more dogs lodging with us this time of year. Lodging dogs and daycare dogs play together all day long.

Because we take your dog's health very seriously, we are very strict about our vaccination protocols, dogs need to be up to date on all required vaccines. We also have strict sanitation protocols. In spite of that dogs can pass certain conditions through sneezing (aerosol) and direct contact. Since dogs are playing in our kennel-free environment, the possibility exists that an infected dog can pass something like canine cough or canine influenza to other dogs. If dogs are infected, they can shed viruses before they starts showing symptoms. If a dog shows symptoms of illness, he will recover more quickly at home and cannot stay on the ranch. Unfortunately you cannot always tell if a dog is sick, especially when he is in the first 14 days since contact.

An environment where dogs are in close contact or share the same space is ideal for an illness to spread. Therefore dogs are more likely to pick something up when they are at dog daycare, when they are lodging, when they are at a groomer, a training facility or a dog park. It would be very easy for a dog to sniff noses with an infected dog at the dog park and then go to daycare and make other dogs sick. The incubation period for a lot of those conditions is about 3 to 10 days. If your dog picked something up at the groomer, you usually will know within 10 days.

To interrupt that cycle, we ask that everyone wait two weeks to bring their dog to our facility. That way we can be sure that nothing spreads from another facility to ours. We really need everyone's cooperation in this matter. Together we can greatly reduce the risk of dogs getting sick in our care. We have heard reports of a canine cough outbreak in the Detroit area. We want to prevent that from coming over here.

To further reduce the exposure of dogs in our care, we only take dogs from our area, Lucas County, Wood County, Fulton County and Monroe County. If you take your dog out of town, please wait two weeks after you return before you bring your dog to our facility.

One more thing about Canine Cough. We require that dogs get the bordetella vaccine. Bordetella is one out of about 30 viruses and bacteria that can cause canine cough (canine tracheobronchitis). So even though the dogs are vaccinated, dogs still can get sick. But in our experience, dogs that are regularly playing with other dogs, in daycare or at the dog park, seem to build up better immunity than dogs that don't. Dogs that only board every now and then but otherwise are kept home, are more likely to get sick. Keeping them on a good quality, fresh food can help boost their immunity.

If your dog does come down with Canine Cough, don't panic. Just like kids at school, a little cough comes around from time to time. Keep him home, away from other dogs, give him lots of rest and make sure he has plenty of water. Honey can soothe your dog's throat. Most dogs recover on their own. If you are concerned, you can have your vet prescribe an antibiotic, but this is not always necessary. If your dog does get sick, we ask that you let us know. It helps us understand if something is going around so we can alert everyone else.

We appreciate everyone's cooperation. Have a safe and healthy summer, both for you and your dog!

Dirk Broersma
https://awalkintheparkoftoledo.com