KENNEL COUGH! Everyone hates to hear those words, especially kennels, boarding facilities and grooming shops. The main reason I picked this topic was because several days ago I received a call from a lady that told me she was interested in adopting one of the puppies I am fostering. She explained to me that she was a single parent of two children and they had "adopted a sick puppy from a Reno Shelter that had to go back"....I did not ask what Reno Shelter it was, but I did ask what was wrong with the puppy. She said they had had the puppy almost 2 weeks-and her and the children loved him, he was just perfect- then it began to cough and not really eat....they took it to the vet and it was diagnosed with "Bordetella bronchiseptica"(Kennel Cough)...she was upset that the shelter had sold her a sick dog!!
So here is where my frustration comes in. In this day of the internet, why do people not educate themselves! Why do we always assume that someone did "something wrong" or tried to "screw us over"....
I felt bad for her children who fell in love with this dog, just to have it "Returned". and what does that teach our children? Then I felt bad for the puppy. I bet it was sitting at the shelter wondering what it had done wrong? Why did his new family return him?
So I took some time to explain some of the facts about kennel cough to the women and suggested, that not only for the poor puppy but as a good example to her kids, to GO BACK AND GET THAT PUPPY and care for it as your own!! Because it is-YOUR OWN!! Then I decided to post this as well, because maybe others do not understand as well.
Several viruses and bacteria can cause kennel cough. It is usually a mild disease, but the cough may be chronic, lasting for several weeks. The loud cough is usually described as a "goose honk". It is very contagious and can be spread by casual contact such as sniffing while on a walk, playing, sharing bowls etc. The "spores" from the cough can travel-especially in cold weather.....so is seen more in winter. It is also seen more in "groups of dogs" like in kennels, dog parks, groomers etc. The hardest thing is a dog can carry it, spread it and have NO SIGNS OF HAVING IT FOR UP TO 15 days....so what does that mean...??? Well a dog could have it, go to the dog park or kennel or groomer or on a walk or..............and be spreading it and no one knows....then in about 2 weeks, the cough begins and you have to go get antibiotics from the vet.
So you see....the shelter did not KNOWINGLY sell a sick dog. If the family would have just got the medication, gave it and waited a few days, all would be well and there would be one less sick dog at the shelter. To me it is like "The dog flu". Put a group of kids or people together and some get the flu, some do not. If your child got the flu and went to daycare, would we fire the daycare and worse yet RETURN THE CHILD!!
Best advice is to vaccinate your dogs....but-like the flu- the vaccine does not protect against all strains..and after that my advice would be to lighten up!! Life has bumps in the road and well, "STUFF HAPPENS"...relax and enjoy your pet-some times there is no one to blame.....it just is what it is.....