Warwick Vets explain Kennel Cough myths and facts

The very name ‘kennel cough’ suggests that dogs are only at risk of contracting this airborne disease if they stay in boarding kennels. As vets in Wellesbourne say that this common misconception is the reason many pet owners chose to not have their dog vaccinated against kennel cough. Here we look at some myths and facts about kennel cough.

MYTH “I don’t put my dog into kennels, so they won’t catch kennel cough”

The correct name for kennel cough is actually acute infectious tracheobronchitis – an infectious cough of the upper airways in dogs.

Avonvale Vets in Southam say that it can be more virulent in boarding kennels, due to the large number of dogs being homed together, which is why it is referred to as kennel cough. But in truth, any dog who mixes with other dogs is at risk of contracting the disease.

FACT “The boarding kennel won’t accept my dog without a vaccination”

Boarding kennels have a responsibility to prevent the spread of diseases amongst their furry guests, which is why most insist on proof of kennel cough vaccination.

Oral and nasal vaccines take effect with differing timescales, so ensure you talk to your vet about what is right for you and your pet, and ensure you leave sufficient time before checking your dog in at the kennels.

MYTH “My dog can’t catch kennel cough as they’ve been vaccinated”

Much like vaccinations in humans, the kennel cough vaccine doesn’t eliminate the risk completely, but it will significantly reduce the chance of your dog catching the disease and may help them recover more quickly if they do catch it.

Similarly, as with all vaccines, the more vaccinated dogs around, the lower the chance of disease spread.

FACT “Kennel cough can spread in multiple ways”

Stratford Vets warn that Kennel cough is highly contagious and can be spread through the air – it’s caused by a complex of viruses and a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica.

When an infected dog barks or coughs the aerosol spray released is infectious. Obviously, direct contact is also a risk – e.g. dogs sharing toys or touching noses during play and shared water and food bowls can be a source of contamination too.

MYTH and FACT “My dog is fit and healthy, they’d recover easily if they caught kennel cough”

Puppies, elderly dogs, and those with medical conditions (whether diagnosed or still in the early stages) are more at risk of complications and severe illness as a result of kennel cough. As vets in Warwick explain that Kennel cough is an unpleasant disease and even mild cases can interrupt your dog’s sleep.

Many dogs will recover naturally but, if they seem uncomfortable or unwell, please seek veterinary advice. As a responsible pet owner, we would recommend protecting your own dog and therefore help protect others too.

Get in touch with one of our branches to discuss your dog’s kennel cough vaccination or to book an appointment.  Our branches include: Avonvale Vets in Kenilworth, Avonvale Vets in Leamington, Avonvale Vets in Southam, Avonvale Vets in Stratford, Avonvale Vets in Warwick, Avonvale Vets in Wellesbourne.

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