Category Archives: Diseases

Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog

 Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog

Your dog can give you so much: love, attention, entertainment, company – and infection. But being alert to some of these problems can help to keep you and your pet healthy.

Whether you own a dog or a cat, a bird or a reptile, a rabbit or fish, you should be aware that your pet can have an effect on your health by infecting you with certain diseases. These are called zoonotic diseases, which are animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

You may already know about some of the more common zoonotic diseases: Lyme disease is a bacterial disease transmitted by tick bites; malaria is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, and bubonic plague is transmitted by rats, or rather by fleas that become infected by biting the rats. However, you should also be aware of several common zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted by your pet.

Most Common Diseases You can Get From Your Dog are:

  • Hookworms and Roundworms – a disease caused by a gastrointestinal parasite. Infection can occur from either ingesting parasite eggs or coming into contact with the larva in the soil. These parasites can be acquired from handling infected soil through gardening, cleaning feces, walking in sand or playing in sandboxes used by animals. Children are most often affected.
  • Psittacosis – a bacterial disease you can get by inhaling dust from dried bird droppings.
  • Rabies – a viral infection caused by a virus found in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted to pets and humans by bites. Infected bats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, dogs or cats provide the greatest risk to humans.
  • Leptospirosis – a bacterial disease you can acquire from handling infected urine or by putting your hands to your mouth after touching anything that has come into contact with infected dog urine.
  • Ringworm – a contagious fungal infection that can affect the scalp, the body (particularly the groin), the feet and the nails. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with worms. The name comes from the characteristic red ring that can appear on an infected person’s skin.All animals can acquire zoonotic diseases, but animals at increased risk include: outdoor pets, unvaccinated animals, pets that are immunocompromised (a suppressed immune system), poorly groomed animals and animals that are housed in unsanitary conditions. People with immune disorders, on chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy may be at increased risk of infection.

    Animals with zoonotic diseases may exhibit a variety of clinical signs depending on the type of disease. The signs can vary from mild to severe. As a pet owner you should know your animal and be aware of any changes in behavior and appearance.

What to Watch For

Signs of zoonosis include:

  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin lesions/rashes
  • Itching
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing
  • Bruising under the skin
  • Joint swellings
  • Lameness

Veterinary Care for Infectious Diseases in Dogs

Your veterinarian will need a good history, including an accurate travel history and complete physical examination in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Since there are so many different kinds of zoonotic diseases, your veterinarian will also do various diagnostic tests. Some of these may include blood tests, cultures, x-rays or ultrasounds.

Treatment depends on the specific diagnosis and may include antibiotics, anti-parasitic drugs or anti-fungal drugs; intravenous fluids; symptomatic care for associated conditions (e.g. vomiting or diarrhea); and analgesic (pain) medication.

Preventative Care

Not all animals with zoonotic diseases are serious risks to people, but good hygiene practices should always be observed. Proper education, a good understanding of the disease and its method of transmission are a vital part of home and preventative care. Use proper hygiene and sanitation when handling pets and their excretions and maintain a good program of veterinary care.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

We offer:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog: Zoonotic Diseases

Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog

Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog

Your dog can give you so much: love, attention, entertainment, company – and infection. But being alert to some of these problems can help to keep you and your pet healthy.

Whether you own a dog or a cat, a bird or a reptile, a rabbit or fish, you should be aware that your pet can have an effect on your health by infecting you with certain diseases. These are called zoonotic diseases, which are animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

You may already know about some of the more common zoonotic diseases: Lyme disease is a bacterial disease transmitted by tick bites; malaria is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, and bubonic plague is transmitted by rats, or rather by fleas that become infected by biting the rats. However, you should also be aware of several common zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted by your pet.

Most Common Diseases You can Get From Your Dog are:

  • Hookworms and Roundworms – a disease caused by a gastrointestinal parasite. Infection can occur from either ingesting parasite eggs or coming into contact with the larva in the soil. These parasites can be acquired from handling infected soil through gardening, cleaning feces, walking in sand or playing in sandboxes used by animals. Children are most often affected.
  • Psittacosis – a bacterial disease you can get by inhaling dust from dried bird droppings.
  • Rabies – a viral infection caused by a virus found in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted to pets and humans by bites. Infected bats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, dogs or cats provide the greatest risk to humans.
  • Leptospirosis – a bacterial disease you can acquire from handling infected urine or by putting your hands to your mouth after touching anything that has come into contact with infected dog urine.
  • Ringworm – a contagious fungal infection that can affect the scalp, the body (particularly the groin), the feet and the nails. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with worms. The name comes from the characteristic red ring that can appear on an infected person’s skin.All animals can acquire zoonotic diseases, but animals at increased risk include: outdoor pets, unvaccinated animals, pets that are immunocompromised (a suppressed immune system), poorly groomed animals and animals that are housed in unsanitary conditions. People with immune disorders, on chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy may be at increased risk of infection.Animals with zoonotic diseases may exhibit a variety of clinical signs depending on the type of disease. The signs can vary from mild to severe. As a pet owner you should know your animal and be aware of any changes in behavior and appearance.

What to Watch For

Signs of zoonosis include:

  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin lesions/rashes
  • Itching
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing
  • Bruising under the skin
  • Joint swellings
  • Lameness

Veterinary Care for Infectious Diseases in Dogs

Your veterinarian will need a good history, including an accurate travel history and complete physical examination in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Since there are so many different kinds of zoonotic diseases, your veterinarian will also do various diagnostic tests. Some of these may include blood tests, cultures, x-rays or ultrasounds.

Treatment depends on the specific diagnosis and may include antibiotics, anti-parasitic drugs or anti-fungal drugs; intravenous fluids; symptomatic care for associated conditions (e.g. vomiting or diarrhea); and analgesic (pain) medication.

Preventative Care

Not all animals with zoonotic diseases are serious risks to people, but good hygiene practices should always be observed. Proper education, a good understanding of the disease and its method of transmission are a vital part of home and preventative care. Use proper hygiene and sanitation when handling pets and their excretions and maintain a good program of veterinary care.

To learn more about diseases you can catch from your Dog, please click on Zoonotic Diseases In-depth.                  Dr. Douglas Brum

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

Diseases People Can Catch from Dogs and Cats: Zoonotic Diseases

There’s no denying the benefits of including dogs and cats in your life, but as is true with all things, there are downsides-zoonotic diseases.

One that is often overlooked is the possibility of catching a disease from your pet: a zoonotic disease.   While the chance of this occurring is quite low, it only makes sense for owners to be aware of diseases that can be passed from dogs and cats to people. Here are a few of the more common zoonotic diseases as described by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Cat-scratch Disease

Cat-scratch disease is a bacterial disease that people may get after being bitten or scratched by a cat. About 40% of cats carry the bacteria at some time in their lives, although kittens younger than 1 year of age are more likely to have it. Most cats with this infection show no signs of illness.

People who are bitten or scratched by an affected cat may develop a mild infection 3-14 days later at the site of the wound. The infection may worsen and cause fever, headache, poor appetite, and exhaustion. Later, the person’s lymph nodes closest to the original scratch or bite can become swollen, tender, or painful. Seek medical attention if you believe you have cat-scratch disease.

Giardiasis

Giardia is a parasite that causes diarrhea in animals and people. Giardia is transmitted to animals and people through food or water contaminated with stool (poop).

Symptoms for animals and people include diarrhea, greasy stools, and dehydration. People can also have abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms can last 1-2 weeks.

Hookworm

Dog and cat hookworms are tiny worms that can spread through contact with contaminated soil or sand. Pets can also become infected with hookworms through accidentally ingesting the parasite from the environment or through their mother’s milk or colostrum. Hookworm infections in pets can cause anemia, diarrhea, and weight loss. Severe infections can be fatal.

People become infected with hookworms while walking barefoot, kneeling, or sitting on ground contaminated with stool of infected animals. Hookworm larvae enter the top layers of skin and cause an itchy reaction called cutaneous larva migrans. A red squiggly line may appear where the larvae have migrated under the skin. Symptoms usually resolve without medical treatment in 4-6 weeks.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of people and animals that is transmitted through contaminated water and urine or other body fluids from an infected animal. It is difficult to detect early stages of leptospirosis in animals, but the disease can lead to kidney and liver failure if left untreated.

People who become infected with leptospirosis might not have any signs of the disease. Others will have nonspecific flu-like signs within 2-7 days after exposure. These symptoms usually resolve without medical treatment, but can reappear and lead to more severe disease.

MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

Staphylococcus aureus is a common type of bacteria that is normally found on the skin of people and animals. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the same bacterium that has become resistant to some antibiotics. Dogs, cats and other animals often can carry MRSA without being sick, but MRSA can cause a variety of infections, including of the skin, respiratory tract, and urinary tract.

MRSA can be transmitted back and forth between people and animals through direct contact. In people, MRSA most often causes skin infections that can range from mild to severe. If left untreated, MRSA can spread to the bloodstream or lungs and cause life-threatening infections.

Ringworm

Ringworm is a condition caused by a fungus that can infect skin, hair, and nails of both people and animals. Ringworm is passed from animals to people through direct contact with an infected animal’s skin or hair. Cats and dogs infected with ringworm typically have small areas of hair loss and may have scaly or crusty skin; but some pets carrying ringworm have no signs of infection at all. Young animals are most commonly affected.

Ringworm infections in people can appear on almost any area of the body. These infections are usually itchy. Redness, scaling, cracking of the skin, or a ring-shaped rash may occur. If the infection involves the scalp or beard, hair may fall out. Infected nails become discolored or thick and may possibly crumble.

Roundworm

Toxocara roundworms cause a parasitic disease known as toxocariasis. Cats, dogs, and people can become infected by swallowing roundworm eggs from the environment. Pets can also become infected as youngsters through their mother’s milk or while in utero. Infected puppies and kittens usually do not seem very sick. Those that do may have mild diarrhea, dehydration, rough coat, and a pot-bellied appearance.

In people, children are most often affected with roundworm.

There are two forms of the disease in people: ocular larva migrans and visceral larva migrans. Ocular larva migrans happens when the larvae invade the retina (tissue in the eye) and cause inflammation, scarring, and possibly blindness. Visceral larva migrans occurs when the larvae invade parts of the body, such as the liver, lung, or central nervous system.

Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease that can spread to people and animals through contaminated soil, water, or meat, and from contact with stool from an infected cat. Cats are the main source of infection to other animals but rarely appear sick.

Most healthy people who become infected with Toxoplasma show no signs or symptoms. However, pregnant women and people who have weakened immune systems may be at risk for serious health complications.

Some of the information presented here was reworded for the sake of simplicity. Check out the CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website for more information.                         by Dr. Jennifer Coates

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

 

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Zoonotic Diseases

Ways to Keep You and Your Family Safe from Zoonosis

What is a zoonotic disease?

Zoonotic diseases are diseases transmitted from animals to humans. Zoonotic diseases come in the form of bacteria, viruses, fungus, or parasites. There are over 250 zoonotic organisms, with only about 40 being transmitted from dogs and cats. The rest of the zoonotic organisms are transmitted from birds, reptiles, farm animals, wildlife, and other mammals. The good news is that a majority of zoonotic diseases can be prevented by following basic hygiene guidelines, as well as following routine veterinary care guidelines for your pet. The following is a list of the top ten ways you can reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases.

1. Wash your hands. This may sound like a simple thing to do, but the truth is, many people do not wash their hands when they should, or they do not wash for long enough. A quick rinse under the tap is far from adequate. Use soap and a constant stream of water, scrubbing for a minimum of 20 seconds. Have your kids sing the alphabet song for a good measure of scrubbing time. Wash hands before eating, after touching animals (particularly farm, petting zoo, or exotic species), after removing soiled clothing, after contact with soil, and after using the bathroom. Hand sanitizer is good at reducing the number of bacteria, but is inadequate for removing organic debris, which is where bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites can hide.

2. Manage the feces. Scoop the litterbox at least every 24 hours. There are particular organisms, including Toxoplasma gondii, which are shed in cat feces that do not become infective until after 24 hours. The same is true for various parasites found in dog feces. By scooping the litterbox or cleaning the yard daily, you are greatly reducing the number of parasites available for reinfection.

3. Avoid contact with wild animals. Wild animals, even cute baby bunnies, can carry several contagious organisms, yet seemingly appear to be healthy. Wild animals are just that, wild.

4. Have your bird tested for Psittacosis. Pet birds can carry an organism called Chlamydophila psittaci, also known as Psittacosis. This bacterium is shed in feces,ocular secretions, and nasal secretions of birds. Infection in people can be very serious.

5. Cover the sandbox. Stray or outdoor cats view your sandbox as a luxury sized litterbox. By keeping it covered when not in use, you are preventing cats from eliminating in the sand, thereby reducing the risk of serious conditions caused by hookworms and roundworms.

6. Use monthly heartworm preventive religiously. Many brands of heartworm preventive also contain dewormers. Dogs and cats are often times re-infected with intestinal parasites, several of which can be removed on a monthly basis by staying up to date on heartworm preventive.

7. Don’t eat or feed raw or undercooked meat. Cooking meat to the appropriate temperature is a sure step to prevent parasitic infection. Many types of parasitic larvae will inhabit the muscle of certain animals, just waiting to be ingested so they can develop into adult parasites.

8. Use flea and tick preventives. Fleas and ticks can carry a variety of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Your dog or cat, being lower to the ground, are at a higher risk of getting flea and tick infestations. By using flea and tick preventives, you are reducing the number of infectious disease carriers that enter your house.

9. Prevent your dog from drinking contaminated water. Water that has been contaminated by other animals, either by feces or urine, has the potential to contain a multitude of infectious organisms that your dog can then transmit to you. It is a good idea to bring a bowl and fresh water with you on your outdoor excursions.

10. Keep up on routine veterinary care. Routine veterinary care, including fecal tests, blood tests, and vaccinations, are very important and should not be ignored.  Consider it not only for your pet’s health, but also for the health of you and your family.

People who have a weakened or a compromised immune system, such as those who are receiving chemotherapy, who have AIDS, or who are chronically ill, are at a much higher risk of obtaining severe zoonotic diseases. Strict guidelines must be followed to reduce risk of zoonotic disease transmission. In some cases, this may include complete avoidance of farm animals, petting zoos, and exotic species.

There are countless benefits to owning a pet. By following these top ten guidelines, you will greatly reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases and help keep you and your family healthy.        Alex Molldrem, DVM

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

10 Contageous Dog Diseases You Can Get From Your Pet

 These are contageous dog diseases that we can get from them.

1. Tapeworm

This parasite can be transmitted from accidentally ingesting a flea from your dog or cat. Symptoms of flea tapeworm infection include stomach aches, diarrhea, and an itchy butt.

2. Ringworm

Often confused with another zoonotic disease called roundworm, ringworm is a fungus that is fairly common in dogs and cats. It is often found in shelters and can be passed to people who pet an infected animal. It usually leaves people with an uncomfortable skin rash.

I got ringworm from some dogs I was boarding.  Not pretty, but easily treated with apple cider  vinegar applied continuously.  Yes, vinegar does the trick!

3. Roundworm

This parasite is found in almost every puppy and kitten. It is usually transmitted by their mother before they’re born, or from drinking their mother’s milk. The puppies and kittens then spread it through their poop. People can accidentally ingest roundworms if they handle dirt (or poop) containing nasty roundworm eggs and forget to wash their hands (or don’t wash thoroughly) before eating. Fortunately, most people don’t get horrible symptoms, but for those that do, symptoms can include stomach problems, vision problems, and seizures. It can also lead to death, but it is rare.   WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY!    Note the difference between the two.  One is a fungus, the other is a parasite.

4. Hookworm

Like roundworms, the hookworm is another parasite that can be spread through animal poop. It infects people through direct skin contact, like when walking outside in bare feet on contaminated dirt or sand. Because hookworms feed on blood in the intestinal tract, symptoms can range from gastrointestinal discomfort to blood loss leading to anemia and protein loss. In severe untreated cases, hookworm infection can result in stunted growth and cognitive dysfunction in children and in the developing feoteuses of pregnant women. In rare instances, hookworm infections can lead to death due to anemia and malnutrition.

5. Cat Scratch Disease

So called because the disease spreads when a cat that is infected with the bacterium Bartonella henselae bites or scratches a person hard enough to break the surface of the skin, or licks a person’s open wound. According to the CDC, cats can get infected with B. henselae from flea bites and flea dirt (droppings) getting into their wounds. By scratching and biting at the fleas, cats pick up the infected flea dirt under their nails and between their teeth. For people, there’s usually a mild infection associated with cat scratch fever where the injury occurs, but it can also cause swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, and a poor appetite. The full impact of Bartonella infections in people is just beginning to be explored.

6. Leptospira

Leptospira bacteria can be found in the urine of dogs. People can develop many symptoms similar to that of a cold (fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea), after which they feel better and then get sick again with severe kidney or liver disease, or infection of the brain (Weil’s disease). People can die from severe cases of leptospirosis.

8. Plague

While you may think this is no longer a real fear, the plague is still around in some parts of the world — possibly even your backyard. It is caused by a bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that infects fleas, which commonly attach themselves to dogs and cats and are then brought indoors. If bitten by the infected flea, you, in turn, can also become infected. If left untreated, this can lead to death.

9. Rabies

Rabies is a fairly well known virus that is transmitted through the exchange of blood or saliva (typically, a bite) from an infected animal. People with rabies can display signs such as fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting; it can even become fatal. Thankfully, it is no longer common in dogs or cats because of successful rabies vaccination programs.

10. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, so called because it was originally discovered in Old Lyme, CT, is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. It is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is frequently brought indoors by our pets, unbeknownst to them. Clinical signs of Lyme disease include red, expanding rash, fatigue, chills, fever, joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, it can lead to facial palsy, heart palpitations, and even meningitis.

Ok, so here they are.  A few, roundworm and hookworm, can be transmitted through poop.   Leptospira, a bacteria, can be found in  dog urine.  Wash hands!!!!

Ticks carry plague,  fleas can cause cat scratch disease (or fever), and tapeworm.

The obvious conclusion is that you should maintain cleanliness at all times when dealing with your furry kids.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372

 

 

 

Kennel Cough: An In-depth Look

What is Kennel Cough?

Clinical cases of Kennel Cough are usually caused by several infectious agents working together to damage and irritate the lining of the dog’s trachea and upper bronchii. The damage to the tracheal lining is fairly superficial, but exposes nerve endings that become irritated simply by the passage of air over the damaged tracheal lining. Once the organisms are eliminated the tracheal lining will heal rapidly.

The most common organisms associated with Canine Cough are the bacteria calledBordetella bronchiseptica and two viruses called Parainfluenza virus and Adenovirus and even an organism called Mycoplasma.

Kennel Cough in dogs will stimulate a coarse, dry, hacking cough about three to seven days after the dog is initially infected.  It sounds as if the dog needs to “clear his throat” and the cough will be triggered by any extra activity or exercise.

Many dogs that acquire Kennel Cough will cough every few minutes, all day long. Their general state of health and alertness will be unaffected, they usually have no rise in temperature, and do not lose their appetite.

The signs of Canine Cough usually will last from 7 to 21 days and can be very annoying for the dog and the dog’s owners.

Life-threatening cases of Kennel Cough are extremely rare and a vast majority of dogs that acquire the infection will recover on their own with no medication.

How is Kennel Cough Transmitted?

The causative organisms a be present in the expired air of an infected dog, much the same way that human “colds” are transmitted. The airborne organisms will be carried in the air in microscopically tiny water vapor or dust particles. The airborne organisms, if inhaled by a susceptible dog, can attach to the lining of the trachea and upper airway passages, find a warm, moist surface on which to reside and replicate, and eventually damage the cells they infect.

The reason this disease seems so common, and is even named “Kennel” cough, is that wherever there are numbers of dogs confined together in an enclosed environment, such as a kennel, animal shelter, or indoor dog show, the disease is much more likely to be spread. The same is true with the “colds” spread from human to human … they are much more likely to occur in a populated, enclosed environment such as an airplane, elevator, or Even a chance encounter with a carrier of Kennel Cough can transmit the disease. office.

All it takes for contagion to occur is a single source (infected dog), an enclosed environment, and susceptible individuals in close proximity to the source of the infection. Infected dogs can spread the organisms for days to weeks even after seeming to have fully recovered!

Even in the most hygienic, well ventilated, spacious kennels the possibility of a dog acquiring Kennel Cough exists. Kennel Cough can be acquired from your neighbor’s dog, from a Champion show dog at a dog show, from the animal hospital where your dog just came in for treatment of a cut paw. So try not to blame the kennel operator if your dog develops Kennel Cough shortly after that weekend stay at the kennel! There may have been an infected dog, unknown to anyone, that acted as a source for other dogs in the kennel.

Many dogs will have protective levels of immunity to Kennel Cough via minor exposures to the infective organisms and simply will not acquire the disease even if exposed. Other dogs that may never have had immunizing subtle exposures will be susceptible to the Bordetella bacteria and associated viruses and develop the signs ofcoughing and hacking.

How is it Kennel Cough Treated?

 

Many dogs that contract Kennel Cough will display only minor signs of coughing that may last seven to ten days and will not require any medication at all. The majority of dogs with the disease continue to eat, sleep, play and act normally — except for that annoying, dry, non-productive coughing that seems so persistent.

It is, however, always a good idea to have any dog examined if coughing is noticed because some very serious respiratory diseases such as Blastomycosis, Valley Fever, Heartworms and even cardiac disease might display similar sounding coughing. Your veterinarian, through a careful physical exam and questioning regarding the dog’s recent environment, will be able to establish if the dog’s respiratory signs are from kennel Cough or some other respiratory insult.

Treatment is generally limited to symptomatic relief of the coughing with non-prescription, and occasionally prescription, cough suppressants. If the dog is running a fever or there seems to be a persistent and severe cough, antibiotics are occasionally utilized to assist the dog in recovering from Kennel Cough.  It can happen that secondary bacterial invaders will complicate a case of Kennel Cough and prolong the recovery and severely affect the upper airway. Therefore, the use of antibiotics is determined on an individual basis.

How is Kennel Cough Prevented?

Many dogs, exposed to all sorts and numbers of other dogs, will never experience the effects of Canine Cough. Some dog owners, though, prefer to take advantage of the current vaccines available that are quite effective in preventing the disease. Usually these dog owners will have to board, show, field trial, or otherwise expose their dog to populations of other canines.

Since the chances of exposure and subsequent infection rise as the dog comes in close proximity with other dogs, the decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate varies with each individual circumstance. Generally, if your dog is not boarded or going to field trials or dog shows, you may not have a high level of need for vaccinating your dog against Kennel Cough.

Conversely, if you plan to board your dog, or protect it from exposure, remember to vaccinate a few weeks prior to potential exposure to allow full protective immunity to build up.

If your dog happens to acquire Kennel Cough, it will then have some immunity to subsequent exposures. The length of time these natural exposures and the vaccinations will produce protective immunity will vary greatly. How often to vaccinate seems to have a subjective and elusive answer.

Be aware that vaccinating with just the commercial Kennel Cough vaccine alone (contains only the Bordetella agent) may not be fully protective because of the other infectious agents that are involved with producing the disease. Some of the other agents such as Parainfluenza and Adenovirus are part of the routine multivalent vaccinations generally given yearly to dogs.

The intra-nasal Bordetella vaccine may produce immunity slightly faster than the injectable vaccine if the dog has never been previously vaccinated for Kennel Cough.

It is generally assumed that the intranasal route of inoculation works the fastest in getting protective levels of immunity established. However, studies have indicated that in dogs that have been previously immunized by either the intranasal or injectable route and that have some level of immunity already present, vaccination by the injectable route actually boosts immunity faster than the intranasal route.

When the injectable vaccine is given as an annual booster (to boost any immune levels already present) the maximum effects of the vaccine will be achieved five days after the vaccination.

So when should the intranasal route be utilized? Some veterinarians suggest that it be used only in unvaccinated dogs and in young pups receiving their first vaccination. In these unvaccinated animals the first immunization would be via the intranasal route and then two additional inoculations by the injectable route are given. Then yearly injectable inoculations are given to enhance the protective levels of immunity.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

Diana@WestsideDogNanny.com
310 919 9372