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We love having the dogs over and watch them play together, but in a group setting like ours, there is always the risk that dogs pass pathogens to each other. Summer is peak season for canine cough (CIRDS).

We are a member of the International Boarding and Pet Services Association and we have been following member reports about a serious outbreak occurring in different parts of the country: Texas, Maryland, then Nebraska, South Dakota, eventually Illinois and then Ohio. Now we hear reports that there is something going around in our area. A lot of facility operators wanted to know what it was and some had sent out for testing. Apparently the culprits are Parainfluenza and Mycoplasma.

We have protocols in place to reduce the risk of infection in our facility. Now more than ever we need everyone to stick to our 14 day rule: wait 14 days before you bring your dog to us if you have been to another dog daycare, lodging or training facility, groomer or dog park. Do not take your dog to the pet store.

If your dog needs vaccines updated, ask your vet if you can get curbside service from your vet. Do not let your dog sniff noses with strange dogs when you are out for walks. Also, your neighbor’s dog might pass this on to your dog when they sniff noses at the fence. If your dog has been around a dog that has symptoms, assume that they have been infected.

It will probably be a couple of months before an outbreak starts clearing up. If your dog shows symptoms, (gagging, throwing up spit, goose honk cough), keep him home. Let us know right away, so we can get a picture of what is going on. Occasionally, we have a dog that comes down with symptoms because they are young and/or they haven't been exposed to a lot of different pathogens yet. But if we get reports of multiple dogs getting sick, we will know that something is going around. These symptoms will usually clear up on their own, but sometimes the vet will prescribe antibiotics and cough suppressants. If your dog gets sick, he will have to be symptom free for 30 days before he can return.

Please adhere to our protocols, we put them in place to keep the dogs happy and healthy!

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Dirk Broersma