At the Vet

CANINE COUGH OUTBREAK

Updated 7/28/2022

As we become busier and busier each year, it has become evident that summertime is the most common time for our facility to see an increase in Canine Cough (also known as "kennel cough") cases. Seeing as Canine Cough is no stranger to us, there are several policies and protocols we have put into place over the years which includes notifying owners as soon as we are aware there are confirmed cases from our facility and isolating any dogs that are showing symptoms while in our care. This page is intended to answer the most frequently asked questions and review our protocols. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our receptionist team at 541-926-9351.

What is Canine Cough?

Canine Cough, also known as "kennel cough," is a highly-contagious airborne virus. We have noticed it can take several days to a week for symptoms to show in dogs, which is one of the reasons it makes this virus so difficult to contain. Symptoms include "a strong cough, often with a 'honking' sound" which is "the most obvious symptom" according to AKC.org and from our own experience. Additional symptoms can be found on AKC's website here.

MYTH: "My dog is vaccinated for Bordetella so they can't get sick with Canine Cough"

While we do require all of our daycare and boarding dogs to have received their Bordetella vaccine in the last 6 months, it is still possible for a dog to contract Canine Cough due to the number of strains and mutations there are.

Is Canine Cough treatable?

Your veterinarian may prescribe your dog a cough suppressant or antibiotics to help relieve your dog's cough; however, most dogs recover on their own within a few days to a couple weeks' time. Canine Cough effects each dog differently. Please consult your veterinarian if you have any further questions regarding treatment.

My dog is showing symptoms of Canine Cough. What should I do?

If your dog was recently at our facility (within the last week or two), please contact us immediately even if we are already aware of the outbreak. We like to keep track of which dogs are showing symptoms even after they have left our facility so we can collect a headcount and try to determine which play groups and kennel areas have been effected.

Keep your dog isolated from other dogs for at least two weeks. We understand this can be difficult for pet parents who cannot leave their dogs at home during the day, enjoy playing at the dog park, or have an upcoming trip planned. Isolation is one of the only ways we are able to help prevent the spread of Canine Cough and we rely heavily on pet parents to inform us when their pet isn't feeling well. We strongly recommend you seek a pet sitter or a family member/friend who can provide daily visits for your dog(s) until they are feeling better. We cannot have sick dogs come back into our facility until two weeks after their symptoms first showed.

Please consult your veterinarian if you have any medical questions. 

What are Albany Pet Hotel's protocols when there is a Canine Cough outbreak?

As soon as we have three confirmed Canine Cough cases from our facility, we begin informing owners at drop off and pick up about the confirmed cases and how this may effect their dog(s). We also begin calling any upcoming reservations so owners can try to find alternative plans for their pet(s) or choose to keep their reservation understanding the higher risk of their dog(s) contracting Canine Cough at our facility during this time. While Canine Cough is airborne, owners may choose to keep their dog(s) out of playgroup during their stay with us to help decrease the chances of their dog(s) contracting the virus (although this not a guarantee).

What happens if my dogs starts showing symptoms of Canine Cough at the Pet Hotel?

Any dog that begins to show symptoms (typically the deep "honking" cough described above) will immediately be put into isolation away from our other dogs. The owner will be called right away and informed about the symptoms and to see if there is any availability to have their dog picked up as soon as possible. We are limited to the number of isolation kennels we have available, so the sooner a sick dog is able to leave our facility the better. Your dog will still receive adequate potty breaks throughout the day, fresh water, food, and attention from our staff members, but will not be able to play in any of our playgroups or be around any other dogs. We thoroughly sanitize any areas our isolation dogs are exposed to.

Takeaway

Canine Cough is typically a relatively harmless virus that effects each dog differently and tends to go away on its own (please seek veterinary care if your dog's symptoms worsen, do not improve, or if you have any concerns). Although your dog is already vaccinated against Bordetella, the rate at how contagious the virus is and the variety of strains there are still puts your dog at risk of catching Canine Cough. We understand how frustrating this time can be for our clients and our staff members, which is why we strive to be as transparent as possible when there is an outbreak including posting to our social media pages, website, and informing clients at the time of making reservations or before coming into our facility. We greatly appreciate all of the pet parents who have been nothing but understanding and kind during this time, and for those who have informed us of their dog's confirmed Canine Cough cases. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us. Transparency is one of our #1 goals and we want to be able to answer any questions you may have and to help you decide whether or not to bring your pet into our facility during this time. We respect everyone's decision to make alternative care plans, and if you decide not to bring your dog in right now, we hope to catch you both next time when our facility isn't as busy. Our staff members are more than happy to help refer you to alternative care plans if needed.

Please contact us at (541) 926-9351 or thestaff@albanypethotel.com with any questions.