Dealing with Canine Cough

dealing with canine cough

Vaccination is key for canine cough, and easy if you sign-up for our Working Dog Run this winter.

Let's talk about whooping cough. It is not pleasant for anyone involved – those infected as well as those kept up at night by the infected individual. Whooping cough is caused by a strain of bacteria in the Bordetella family. Bordetella is also the most common bacterial cause of canine cough, although the infective strain for humans and dogs is different so there is no cross infection.

Canine cough was formerly known as kennel cough. The recent name change is to try and eliminate the false belief that it can only be caught in a boarding kennel situation. Dogs can be infected by ANY contact with another infected dog. This can be in kennels, through a fence, in the yards or in a park. This is due to the highly contagious nature of the Bordetella bacteria. There are a number of other factors that can influence infection such as stress, dusty environments and viral infections.

Your dog will usually present with a sudden hacking cough that sounds similar to a goose honk. It will cause your dog to retch up pools of mucous which can be confused with vomiting. Although the disease doesn’t usually stop your dog from eating and drinking, clinical signs can be severe. They are exacerbated by excitement such as when they are working in the yards or rounding up sheep and/or cattle. It is also worse at night. Infected dogs need to be rested until clinical signs have cleared – this can take up to 2 weeks in severe cases.

This year we have seen a massive outbreak of canine cough on farms around our patch. Due to its contagious nature, if one dog on the farm is infected, the whole team will inevitably get infected. With the busy season coming up this is not what you want or need.

Luckily, there is a preventative vaccination we can give. As with all vaccines, it is not 100% effective but will massively reduce the risk of clinical disease if your dog is exposed to the bacteria. This winter, VetSouth are offering a Working Dog Run, a Warrant of Overall Fitness... a WOOF if you will.

This is an on-farm vaccine and health check run where we can vaccinate your working dog team. Register your interest here and we will be in contact with dates ASAP.

During this "warrant of overall fitness" on your dog team, we can also offer advice on:

  • Parasite control
  • Mobility
  • Nutrition
  • General check over
This run will be a yearly run that fits with the yearly booster vaccine needed to protect against canine cough. If you would like to discuss anything further contact your KeyVet or the clinic at 0800 VETSOUTH.

- Angela Butcher


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