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We received notice that two dogs came down with what is suspected canine cough. Canine cough is a respiratory infection that can be caused by a number of different viruses or bacteria. Bordetella is one of those agents which we require vaccination for. Parainfluenza is another agent which is covered in the DHPP vaccine. But there are numerous other possible culprits out there. Normally vets don't send out samples to find out which one it is because by the time results come back, the dogs will have recovered from the condition. Also, the condition is usually not very serious. Vets might prescribe antibiotics to prevent secondary infections, and/or a cough suppressant to ease the symptoms. When dogs come down with this condition, their behavior will usually be the same. They will have the same energy level and their appetite is not affected. Symptoms should subside in about 7 to 10 days, but we ask everyone to wait another 7 to 10 days before taking your dog around other dogs preventing the condition from spreading further.

We ask everyone to report any conditions or unusual behavior you notice with your pets. We can respond better if we have this information. Don't hesitate to call us, just like people that get together can make each other sick, dogs can pass things also. That is just a fact of life and a risk we take when we expose dogs to each other. We believe that the risks outweigh the benefits. People still go on cruises, even though there are cases where a lot of people got sick on board. But we don't want to lock ourselves in our homes, there are so many things we like to experience the risk and worth taking the risk to go out there. The same is true for the dogs. They love to go out and experience the world, meet other dogs and people, and have experiences that enrich their lives.

We do however take some precautions to limit the risks. Vaccination is one of those. Another thing is we ask everyone to wait two weeks after a visit to another lodging, daycare, training or grooming facility or a dog park, before you bring your dog to the ranch. Dogs are most likely to pick up a bug when they are in close contact with each other. They can pick up something at one daycare and infect dogs at the next daycare they go to. We can intervene by waiting for two weeks, because you will know if your dog picked something up during that time. Please remember that dogs can become infected and start spreading conditions before they start showing symptoms. By the time you realize your dog is sick, numerous other dogs will already have been exposed. We cannot check if dogs have been somewhere else, so we have to ask everyone to be responsible and honor this rule since the wellbeing of the dogs in our care depends on all of us.

To further limit the risk, we do not accept dogs from outside our geographical area. This will limit what the dogs in our care are exposed to. Please, if you travel with your dog to a different part of the country, wait two weeks after you get back before you bring your dog back to the ranch. The same rule applies if you had relatives visiting you who brought their dogs with them. Together we can keep the risk to a minimum and maximize the fun for all the dogs!

We thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation!

Dirk Broersma