Outbreak of Kennel Cough Affecting Pups in the Birmingham Area
There has recently been a surge of coughing and upper respiratory illness affecting our canine companions in the Birmingham area. Kennel cough and canine influenza were being detected in high numbers following the busy 4th of July boarding holiday.
‘Kennel cough’, much like human colds, is caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses and is normally not fatal to most healthy dogs. Most boarding facilities, including AVAC, require a vaccination against one of the most common causes of kennel cough, Bordetella. Canine influenza strain A (H3N2) has also been detected in our area. This can lead to a more serious upper respiratory infection.
Both of these types of infections are spread by close, dog-to-dog contact. Consequently, dogs being in close quarters, multiple animals with exposure from different environments all housed in the same area (even pristinely clean kennels) can have an outbreak.
The incubation period for these upper respiratory infections is 5-7 days and can be contagious even before symptoms are seen.
If your dog has any of the following, please call us immediately to discuss a treatment plan:
- coughing/spitting up white foam
- mild, low-grade fever
- eye or nasal discharge
- loss of appetite
Most pups will recover within a week or so with appropriate medication. Rarely, these infections can lead to pneumonia and other fatal complications. Early, prompt treatment is needed for the best outcome.
Due to this recent outbreak, Altadena Valley Animal Clinic is now offering the canine influenza vaccination. This will be a requirement for all of our drop-off services including boarding, grooming, daycare, and same-day treatments. Hopefully vaccinating our sweet furry friends will help to bring this outbreak under control and keep our pet population safe!
Have a great summer!
Julie Grimes, DVM