As with people, the cold season can be a season for viruses in pets. In the north London area, it seems that there is an outbreak of kennel cough in the dog population. We have seen lots of dogs in the last week or so presenting with very unpleasant symptoms. The main one is a deep retching cough that is commonly heard at night and can disturb their sleep. But we have also seen more “cold-like” symptoms like a runny nose and conjunctivitis.
Kennel cough is a virus that then gets a secondary bacterial infection on top of it. It is manageable rather than treatable and can last for up to 2 weeks. Dogs are contagious whilst coughing so should be kept away from other dogs.
Thankfully there is a very good vaccine against kennel cough. It is placed in the nose so that a strong local immunity occurs and will keep most dogs safe. Please keep in mind that there are many strains of kennel cough so we sometimes see even vaccinated dogs contract the disease.
Contrary to what the name suggests this is not just a disease we see when dogs have been into kennels. In fact, dogs are at risk wherever they can meet or come close to other dogs. For example walking in the park, passing dogs on the street or visiting friends with dogs.
Please call your local Village Vet clinic and make an appointment to help get your dog protected and put a stop to this outbreak.