Its summer time, and respiratory infections in our pups are on the rise. Many folks are worried that their pet may be infected with Covid-19 (which is possible in very rare circumstances) but the true answer is usually our more typical problems--bordatella (kennel cough) and canine influenza. You may assume that your dog is not vulnerable to these illnesses if you do not board them-but if they come in contact with other dogs in your neighborhood or at the dog park, infection is a real possibility. According to the AVMA, western Massachusetts is in the middle of a respiratory illness outbreak (original source article-Berkshire Eagle), and this is rather close to home for many of us. While kennel cough or bordatella is not typically a severe illness, canine influenza can be deadly.
What can you do? Vaccines are available for both of these illnesses. Although they are not 100% effective due the presence of multiple strains, they provide a significant measure of safety. If you board your dog, make sure that the kennel requires all animals to be vaccinated so that your dog is less likely to be exposed. If you spot a coughing dog at the park, steer clear. And if you are exposed to a dog that coughs on you, wash your hands and change clothes before playing with your pup when you get home.
If your pet develops symptoms, please call us. There are bacterial infections that can also cause coughing and your pet may benefit from antibiotics or antitussives to help them get back to their typical behavior faster.