New cases of kennel cough spotlight health concern in dogs
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A Wichita area pet resort closed for a day this week, taking a precautionary step following “an extreme number of dogs” that stayed there over the Memorial Day weekend. The facility took time Wednesday to clean out its runs, making sure a respiratory illness on the rise doesn’t spread from the resort.
With summer travel plans in full swing, the conversation about kennel cough comes to the forefront with a question of whether pet owners should be concerned about boarding their dogs.
Prairie Ridge Animal Hospital Veterinarian Kathleen Flanagan said kennel cough isn’t specific to one bacteria or virus.
“It’s a general term for a respiratory disease that a dog can pick up, most of the time in a place like a boarding facility, doggy daycare, a dog park, somewhere there’s a big population of dogs surrounding each other,” Dr. Flanagan explained.
Pet owners can typically identify kennel cough in their dogs by observing clear symptoms including coughing fits, nasal drainage and fevers. Much like how humans get the flu, kennel cough is airborne and can also be spread through direct contact.
Dr. Flanagan said it’s also not limited to one time of the year.
“There’s a growing need for dogs to be boarded in more of those closed up areas with other dogs, as people are traveling more (and) people have more pets,” she said.
Before boarding your dog, Dr. Flanagan advised to have your pet examined by its vet and to make sure your dog is up to date on its shots. Many doggy daycares and resorts require dogs to be vaccinated.
“I tend to recommend if you’re in a high-risk area, you’re constantly boarding or doing daycare, to have a Bordetella and influenza always on board,” she said.
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