Warwickshire vet is warning dog owners about a rising number of 'kennel cough' cases sweeping through the county
He fears the outbreak could worsen as more dogs go into kennels during the summer holidays
A Warwickshire vet is warning dog owners about a rising number of 'kennel cough' cases sweeping through the county.
Simon Davies, clinical director at Linnaeus-owned Avonvale Veterinary Centres, which has seven practices across Warwickshire, fears the outbreak could worsen as more dogs go into kennels during the summer holidays.
Kennel cough, or acute tracheobronchitis as it is medically known, is a highly contagious, airborne disease which is spread through dogs being in close contact, especially in poorly ventilated areas, and from sharing toys and bowls.
Simon said: “Unfortunately, we’ve had an increasing number of kennel cough cases across all of our practices over the past couple of months. The disease is a mixed viral and bacterial respiratory infection, which is airborne and highly contagious, so can spread easily.
“Kennel cough is, in fact, a misnomer as it can be caught anywhere that dogs congregate. I have seen many cases over the past couple of months which have, thankfully, responded well to treatment.
“There is also a vaccine available to help prevent the disease which can be administered to puppies from eight weeks of age with immunity typically lasting for one year.”
Simon is urging dog owners to protect their pets by having them vaccinated this summer and said people should contact their vet straight away if they think their animal is infected.
He added: “If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, contact your vet who will be able to provide treatment to alleviate the symptoms and keep your pet comfortable.
“The incubation period of kennel cough is between two to 14 days but some dogs have been shown to be carriers of the disease for months without developing symptoms.
“It is not usually dangerous but it does have some unpleasant symptoms including a persistent cough, gagging and the production of mucous. Puppies, elderly dogs and those with underlying medical conditions are more prone to serious complications such as pneumonia.
“Brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed dogs) such as pugs and French bulldogs can also suffer more acute problems due to their narrow airways.
“Our advice for all dogs which have had kennel cough is to keep them isolated from other dogs for at least two weeks after their symptoms have resolved.”