Currently North Texas (pretty much all of Texas) is seeing cases of Canine Cough. Canine Cough is seasonal and some years are worse than others. Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth are all seeing increased cases. At BlooMoon Pet Resort we have been made aware of a number cases and although the percentage of dogs getting sick is small we just want to keep canine parents in the loop. We are very lucky that our facility was built to help ward off airborne infections, but it’s not foolproof. We want you to know some facts about this upper respiratory disease which is also known as canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC) or, more commonly, as “Kennel Cough”. We prefer to call it Canine Cough because it can be contracted virtually anywhere dogs gather including:
• Dog Friendly establishments (think Lowe’s Home Improvement)
• Your neighborhood
• Road side parks
• Veterinary clinics
• Boarding facilities
• ANY WHERE other dogs have been
Canine Cough is caused by both viruses and bacteria and is an airborne disease which is why it can spread so easily. If an infected dog coughs the aerosolize infections particles can travel in the air. We know from the COVID pandemic how easily viruses spread and even though humans can practice safety steps, we can’t get dog’s to wear masks or social distance. If your dog is showing any of the following signs please keep them home to help avoid the spread and seek the attention of your vet.
• a strong cough, often with a “honking” sound – this is the most obvious symptom
• runny nose
• loss of appetite
• low fever
Canine Cough does not originate at a facility, a dog has to enter a facility that is infectious for the infection to start to spread. There is an incubation period of about 2 weeks prior to showing signs. During this incubation period, they are contagious, so it is hard for facilities to stop the spread if you cannot tell that a dog contagious.
Impossible to avoid
Canine cough is the most common infectious respiratory condition diagnosed in dogs. It is a highly contagious condition which is often compared to a human cold. Your child goes to school and can catch a cold or the flu; you can catch a cold or flu at work, on a plane, or from friends and family. It is a similar situation with your pets.
The most effective way to prevent disease is to avoid exposure but this is not practical as most pets are considered part of the family and do leave the house. As indicated above, the places for potential exposure are virtually everywhere. Moreover, dogs can be asymptomatic but still able to spread the disease (another lesson we learned during the pandemic).
It’s important to note that puppies and senior dogs, as well as those dogs who have not had the bivalent (H3N2, H3N8) influenza vaccine, are more at risk for contracting upper respiratory infection.
The good news
Canine cough, if caught early, generally causes mild disease. The most common symptom is a dry hacking cough. Although fever, lack of appetite, lethargy and vomiting can occur, those symptoms are infrequent, especially in vaccinated dogs.
What we do to mitigate the risk of spread
BlooMoon Pet Resort has a number of strict protocols in place to help prevent the spread of canine cough at our facility:
• We have deep cleaning and disinfecting protocols that have been further strengthened over the past year in response to the pandemic.
• Our facility has UV air sanitizers installed in our air system to help kill infectious airborne pathogens as they circulate the air.
• BlooMoon has large runs and dogs are outside in the fresh air often while staying with us.
• BlooMoon runs have solid walls between dogs (they are not nose to nose with wire fencing).
• Only pets that are fully vaccinated for canine cough are admitted here. Nevertheless, we occasionally do have guests contract canine cough. Unfortunately, it can take up to 10 days after exposure for a pet to show any signs of illness, so infected dog could be admitted and spread the disease to others in the resort without our knowledge.
• We are currently not admitting any canine guests to our facility who have boarded anywhere else, or who have traveled within 14 days of visiting BlooMoon Pet Resort.
What we want our clients to understand
• Don't panic at the thought or rumor of Kennel Cough. It's probably not the plague that you have heard it to be.
• Do take caution with young puppies, elderly dogs, and those with immune problems. Your vet is your first line of defense, and your facility should be aware of the situation, and react accordingly in your pets best interest.
• If you regularly board or attend gatherings of dogs, immunize them against the bordatella virus according to your Vets recommendations.
• Be aware of how easily Kennel Cough is spread, and don't jump to the conclusion that your chosen facility is to blame. They can be your best ally in fighting the virus.
Canine cough can be caught anywhere but your pet is part of our family and, just like family, we will do everything in our power to keep them safe and healthy while they are with us.
Hopefully, we've been able to provide you with accurate and helpful information on the topic of Kennel Cough. We hope that your dog has a long healthy life, and a long and happy relationship with us at BlooMoon! Please feel free to ask us questions regarding our protocols at any time!