The email below details a 2nd case of Kennel Cough to be reported from the run. GET YOUR DOGS VACCINATED AGAINST IT NOW. Dogs MUST be up to date on ALL shots, this includes kennel cough (caused by the Bordatella bacteria or a parainfluenza virus)
Web M.D. has quite a good resource on kennel cough: http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/kennel-cough-in-dogs?page=1 So does the ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/kennel-cough
Here are a couple videos clearly showing the two major symptoms: 1) wheezy/honking/hacking cough, with white foamy spit-up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNRU_6Uvsp0 2) reverse sneezing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkDE_7rD8vU
Any dogs who persistently show either of these symptoms should stay out of the dog park, away from groups of dogs, and not drinking from public water sources until these symptoms have disappeared and not returned for at least a week (even better: a couple weeks without symptoms) to prevent the spread.
Email from SUDS member:
“My dog seems to have contracted kennel cough caused by Bordatella bacteria or a parainfluenza virus. He started showing unmistakable signs overnight, but we’re going to the vet asap to verify. Thing is, my dog received the vaccine for kennel cough just a couple months ago, which is protective against the most common strains for 6 months to a year. We also opted for the more expensive nose-administered version because it produces a stronger immune response (and better protection).
This suggests there may be a variant going around that isn’t protected – or protected very well – by the first half of the year’s vaccine. This is especially true because my dog is a couple years old and extraordinarily healthy. The kennel cough vaccine is kind of like the flu vaccine: it offers a lot of protection, but new strains can evolve resistance and infect the vaccinated. The good news? Those vaccinated, including dogs, usually see far milder infections/symptoms than those who didn’t get the vaccine.
As you probably know, this is rarely a life-threatening for healthy adult dogs, and there isn’t often much you can do unless the cause is the bacteria – in that case antibiotics prescribed by a vet can help. It’s mostly a game of soothing the dog’s irritated windpipe, making sure they eat, etc. But either contagion – virus or bacteria – can develop into a more serious condition like pneumonia for puppies and elderly dogs, who have weaker immune systems.
This is one of many reasons why we’re going to stay far away from the dog park until we haven’t seen any symptoms for a solid couple of weeks (i.e. give us a month or longer, as infection typically lasts a few weeks). It’s highly contagious, and even perfectly healthy-looking dogs can contract and spread it BEFORE they show symptoms, and AFTER the symptoms have gone.
I know you already sent an email about not bringing sick dogs to the dog park, but it may be worth sharing an announcement specifically about kennel cough, what the typical symptoms are, treatment, etc. Sure, it’s a publicly owned park, but it’s a good unwritten rule that if any dogs don’t have this vaccine, they really shouldn’t come to the park until they’ve received the vaccine and it’s effective (usually takes a week or two). This is true of any other dog park, too.
You may also want to mention that regular vaccines every 6 months are the most important for puppies and older dogs. Like the annual flu shot, the very young and old are most at risk of developing potentially life-threatening conditions without the vaccine.”