Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,
Many of us who have been in veterinary for many years remember plain old “kennel cough”, in which a dog coughs as if something is caught in his throat. The cough is noisy and bothersome and usually would run its course over about 7-10 days with the dog fully recovering afterwards. A “Kennel Cough” vaccine would prevent the problem in almost every case, and this was more of a nuisance than a severe threat to life.
In recent years, the cough situation has become more complicated. It started with Canine Influenza (flu), a disease that possibly was a mutation of the Equine Influenza. This disease initially presents with symptoms similar to Canine Cough, fooling veterinarians. But then, the pet becomes more and more ill, with some dying and some having permament lung damage.
Once this disease became significant, tests to confirm it and vaccines to prevent became available. “Flu shot” for dogs is now commonly recommended by many veterinarians. Now, there is another deadly cough appearing in certain parts of the country. As I type, the actual ‘identity” of the new bug has not been learned.
While Canine Cough, or Kennel Cough, seemed to be found all over the country, Canine Influenza and the other new cough strain seem to appear in different “bands” of disease in different regions of the country. We have also seen these strains spread slowly from region to region.
Louisiana was Influenza free for several years, but now is beginning to have cases appear. The new unknown strain has not yet appeared in Louisiana.
What is the point of all the above?
Simple. If your dog shows any type of coughing that lasts more than an day or of he is coughing at all and seems to fele bad, do not wait. Have him seen by a DVM ASAP, since the new coughs could be far worse than just a nuisance.
See? Something CAN be done about preventing pet illness.
That is all.
Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic