Don’t Let Kennel Cough Take Over Your Practice!

Rescue Expert Blog

Spring is finally here and with it a season of cold and flu. While hand sanitizers and warm drinks help to keep coughs and congestion at bay, the same cannot be said for the illnesses that our furry friends can contract throughout the year. Kennel cough is one such illness that is common to our canine friends, but that can become a hassle for all pets if not handled properly. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent kennel cough before it has the chance to impact your veterinary practice!

What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a respiratory disease that is highly contagious and can spread quickly. Kennel cough is common in areas that cater to a number of dogs, such as day care facilities, dog parks and veterinary practices and shelters. While it can easily be treated with antibiotics and rest, once a dog contracts kennel cough they can become susceptible to pneumonia especially if they are young or have a weak immune system.

Kennel cough has a tendency to spread easily once contracted, as it can be transferred through airborne droplets, contact with infected animals, or the sharing of items such as food and water dishes, equipment and so forth. The symptoms of kennel cough, include;

  • a cough that has a distinctive ‘honking’ noise with it
  • a runny nose
  • poor appetite
  • inactivity
  • sneezing
  • low fever

While kennel cough is unique, it can be mistaken for Canine distemper virus or Canine influenza, making it imperative that as soon as symptoms appear, they are addressed by a veterinarian right away.

As canines or other animals with kennel cough require veterinary care, implementing proper disinfecting practices are crucial to controlling the spread of the disease and in keeping your practice open and able to treat patients.

Reducing the Spread of Kennel Cough

Typically, the symptoms of kennel cough can take two to ten days to appear after the patient has been exposed to the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium or the Canine parainfluenza virus. Due to this, it can be difficult to pinpoint the time and place in which the disease was contracted!

When an outbreak of kennel cough occurs, it does not mean that your practice or shelter needs to close its doors! If an outbreak occurs, or if dogs are confirmed or even suspected of having kennel cough, they must be handled with strict isolation. Cleaning and disinfecting procedures are very important to control the spread of this disease. Rescue products can be used to both clean and disinfect. Rescue Veterinary Disinfectants are EPA-registered disinfectants that carry a claim against Bordetella, the bacteria that cause kennel cough. While disinfecting your facility may have been time-consuming in the past, it no longer has to be with Rescue’s ability to destroy pathogens quickly and easily in a short contact time.

Rescue® Veterinary Disinfectants also work to create a calm and inviting space for animals, which is crucial especially if they are feeling under the weather, as it does not release strong odors. This works to prevent nose blindness from occurring and further damaging the animals respiratory system, helping the animal to enjoy their visit to your practice even more.

Additional Resources:

Isolation Protocol for Animal Care Facilities