Canine Cough Outbreak. Alert (also incorrectly known as Kennel Cough).
Areas currently having affected dogs are:
Shellharbour Village area,
(Some reports that Gerringong also affected).
At the moment the outbreak seems to be moving west and south of our immediate clinic area but no reason to take risks
The cough is a hacking cough that can progress to the dog coughing up phlegm. Older dogs, in particular especially those living in backyards with no contact with other dogs, can come down with a severe form of the disease. Vaccination provides protection against the more severe forms of the syndrome. Regardless, do not walk your dog if it is coughing as this spreads the disease and have your dog checked if you are any way concerned by sudden onset of coughing in your dog regardless of its age.
Please alert the staff before you arrive that your pet may have canine cough as we need to implement some infectious disease protocols before, during and after your visit. The cough can be caused by a bacteria from the same bacterial family tree as Whooping- cough in humans and/or by several viruses and some other infectious organisms. This particular respiratory vaccine works just as in people, even vaccinated you can still contract a milder form but it stops you excessively suffering and/or dying from the condition. Canine Cough is not limited to dogs going to kennels (though that is a high-risk area) so we don’t call it Kennel Cough anymore. There are forms of the cough that can be acquired through contact with cattle or horses. Our local lake pathways can be a source of infection every year after the RSPCA Million Paws walk by the lake when owners take unvaccinated and unwell dogs on these walks. I never could believe when we vetted for this event, how many people would bring ill dogs to the walk in the belief the walk ‘would do the dog some good’!!. No it would not and neither it would not be good for all the dogs who live and walk by the area as the norm to have sick dogs dragged out along shared walkways.