Kennel cough outbreak in Windsor dogging canines

Alyssa Horrobin
By Alyssa Horrobin September 25, 2017 14:40
Drake Baird gives his dog Braxton a daily antibiotic for kennel cough. The antibiotic lasts ten days. (Photo by Alyssa Horrobin)

Drake Baird gives his dog Braxton a daily antibiotic for kennel cough. The antibiotic lasts ten days. (Photo by Alyssa Horrobin)

By Alyssa Horrobin

 

There is a bug going around Windsor and it could affect your canine comrades, taking up to a month for recovery.

Infectious tracheobronchitis, otherwise known as kennel cough, is a highly contagious (but not life-threatening) respiratory disease similar to the common cold, only for dogs.

It is most commonly contracted places where they hang out such as dog shows, dog parks and boarding kennels – just about any place dogs share water or close quarters.

According to Dr. Sukhpal Gill, a veterinarian at the Clearwater Animal Hospital, it has been especially prevalent in Windsor the last couple of months.

“In the last two or three weeks, we are almost seeing one to two cases every day,” said Gill.

Symptoms can take three to four days to appear. The most common symptom is a loud honking cough which can sound like something is lodged in the dog’s throat.

For dog owner Drake Baird, hearing this sound from two-year-old puppy Braxton in the middle of the night brought a moment of panic. Three years earlier he heard the same sound from his previous dog. That time it was something caught in his throat, which led to his pet’s death.

This time, a vet found Braxton had kennel cough. After that, Baird was not concerned, even when his other dog caught the cold days later.

“Dogs get sick just like humans – it’s not going to be the end of the world,” said Baird.

From now on, however, Baird said he plans to get both dogs vaccinated for kennel cough.

Baird said having the cough has not decreased either dog’s energy level. The only thing hurting them is staying away from the dog park for another few weeks until they have finished the antibiotic and are no longer contagious.

“There’s nowhere to really take him off leash other than the dog park,” said Baird. “He’s a dog, he’s going to chase a squirrel – I don’t want him running into the road or being in any danger.”

Kelly French, owner and operator of Animal Antics Behaviour Centre, said her training facility got hit with the outbreak last month and she saw a decrease in dogs coming to the centre. French said she is hoping the worst is behind them.

Better safe than sorry, she takes extra care to disinfect everything in the doggy daycare if a potentially sick dog comes in. Sick dogs are also sent home.

“We advise them to go home, rest the dog for a day or two, go to the vet if it’s not feeling better,” said French, adding it’s too risky to have the dog stay even if it may not be kennel cough.

Baird said although he is not a father, he imagines this feels similar to having a sick child.

“You can’t do much, you just do the best that you can and try to help them sleep through the night any way that you can,” said Baird. “That’s the best you can do.”

Alyssa Horrobin
By Alyssa Horrobin September 25, 2017 14:40

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