Meet Taz, a 1.5-year-old German Shepherd, and Rocky, a 10-year-old Chihuahua. This duo recently spent some time away from home in a dog boarding business when their parents had to make a trip to Colorado for a medical procedure for one of their children.
When Taz and Rocky's parents came back, both were coughing a lot. Their parents were scared that they both had kennel cough since they weren't vaccinated. The boarding facility told them that the dogs had barked the whole time they were gone, likely causing the cough and the horseness of their barks. Their parents brought them to the vet, where they were told the same thing. The vet said that the raspy barks should get better with time and they were sent home to recover. Unfortunately, neither of the dogs improved. They both continued to cough; however, poor Taz coughed so hard that he would throw up, which caused him to aspirate and get pneumonia. Rocky was coughing so hard he passed out. At the vet they found that he had a stage six heart murmur, and the coughing was causing him to lose oxygen.
The bill from multiple stays at the veterinary clinic was far more than their parents could afford, especially with their recent medical trip out of state, so they applied to Fur Kids Foundation for assistance. With help from our supporters, we were able to help this family’s pups get the treatment they needed. We are happy to report that both pups are making a full recovery.
According to the AKC, Kennel Cough (aka canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a highly contagious respiratory disease; it’s commonly caused by bordetella bacterium. Just like respiratory diseases in humans, kennel cough is spread from one dog to the other through airborne droplets, touching noses or other direct contact, or from surfaces that have been contaminated such as kennels, crates, water or food bowls. This disease is common to spread in areas where there are large gatherings of dogs, such as boarding and daycare facilities, parks, training groups, pet stores, and dog shows.
Signs that you pooch may have kennel cough include:
One important note is that distemper and canine influenza both begin with symptoms nearly identical to kennel cough; as do a collapsing trachea, bronchitis, asthma, and even heart disease. It’s very important to take your dog to a vet should they have any of the signs outlined above.
Thankfully, kennel cough is highly treatable (and preventable) in most dogs; however, it can be severe for puppies younger than 6 months old, senior dogs or dogs who are immunocompromised.
A vaccine is available for kennel cough (bordetella bacterium), and Fur Kids Foundation strongly encourages pet parents of dogs who are frequently boarded, groomed, visit doggie day care, compete in canine sports, or are otherwise exposed to large groups of dogs would benefit from the vaccine. Check out this list of encouraged puppy vaccinations provided by the AKC. We encourage you to call the places that bring your dogs and make sure that you comply with their vaccination requirements. We also encourage you to check in with your vets every year to make sure your pets are up to date on all of their vaccinations to help keep your pup healthy.
No matter what is happening with your fur kid, at any stage of life, Fur Kids Foundation encourages you to call your veterinarian sooner rather than later.
Fur Kids Foundation is 100% run by dedicated volunteers who give their time to help the Foundation raise money with events, take applications, and spread the word about the good work the Foundation does in Campbell County, Wyoming. If you would like to help Fur Kids Foundation continue to help local families with animals afford emergency veterinary care, please consider making a tax-deductible donation or sign up to become a volunteer.