The cold and flu season can take its toll on canines as well

The winter is upon us, we are all facing diseases such as flu and head cold.

The winter is upon us, we are all facing diseases such as flu and head cold.

Did you know you that dogs can also catch a cold?

A cold for a dog is called infectious tracheobrinchitis, or more commonly referred to as ‘kennel cough.’

This disease is an inflammation of the respiratory system, including the nose, the trachea (wind pipe) and the bronchi (the branches of the wind pipe in the lungs).

It is caused by a complex of viruses and bacteria with a dominance of bacteria by the name of bordetella bronchoseptica.

This infection is typical to dogs only. People cannot get the infection from dogs nor do cats.

The disease is highly contagious. The transmission of the infection is aerosal. This means that the causative agents are found in the air and dogs do not have to be in contact in order to get infected.

The disease is very common to be found in places with large numbers of dogs such as animal shelters, boarding facilities or even puppy training classes.

The most common symptom of the disease is a dry hacking cough followed by motions that resemble vomiting and production of a white, foamy discharge.

Runny nose and eye infections are also commonly seen.

The disease is typically self limiting in a healthy dog, but might get complicated in puppies, older dogs or a dog suffering from other diseases that have weakened its immune system.

If the disease complicates it might lead to pneumonia and other severe illnesses.

The disease is diagnosed by a physical exam.

The veterinarian will also ask you questions about the history of the dog, trying to gather information that might support the exposure to the causative agents of the disease.

Depending on the dog’s condition, the vet might recommend further tests such as blood tests or chest x-rays to assess the severity of the dog’s condition.

Depending on the medical findings, the dog can be treated by drugs such as antibiotics and cough suppressants.

Fortunately there are vaccines available against kennel cough.

The vaccines that are given to puppies, which later are given annually to adult dogs, contain coverage against the viruses responsible for the disease.

There is a separate vaccine against the bacteria bordetella bronchoseptica. This vaccine is given topically straight into the nose.

Vaccination cannot totally prevent development of disease but it will reduce the severity of clinical signs to a much more manageable level.

The vaccine is recommended to any dog but especially to a dog that might be in greater risk of encountering the disease, such as prior to boarding, grooming or training classes.

Some of the boarding facilities will not admit unvaccinated dogs to their premises.

If your dog is sick, I strongly recommend isolating him from other dogs until the disease has resolved.

It’s probably best to socialize your dog with other dogs in well ventilated places, best at the outdoors to try to avoid catching the disease.

Please consult your veterinarian about more information on kennel cough and the vaccines against it.

Moshe Oz is a veterinarian and operates the Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital in West Kelowna, 2476 Westlake Rd.

250-769-9109

www.KelownaVet.ca

Just Posted

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Stuart Park outdoor rink to reopen for winter

The outdoor ice rink is scheduled to be open Dec. 1

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding association sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Creekside Theatre hosts Canadian comedian, Phil Callaway

The Lake Country based theatre will host the fundraiser Nov. 20

Kelowna Art Gallery to show private collection publicly for first time

The Rossi Collection: A circle of Friends can now be seen until January

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

Lower Mainland couple missing in Thompson-Okanagan area

Barriere RCMP received a missing persons report for two senior overdue travellers

Human remains found in South Okanagan vehicle fire

RCMP said the investigation to this point indicates the fire was accidental and not suspicious

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Okanagan trampoline gymnasts impress at World Age Group finals in Russia

Kelowna’s Jordyn Yendley finished fifth, Vernon’s Travis Towers 14th in respective age groups

Judge rules against ALC on rural B.C. subdivision

The ALC can’t change the definition of an acre, the judge ruled.

Most Read