I am writing to provide you with information about a contagious respiratory pathogen outbreak in our community. Thus far in cases we have treated, this pathogen has caused a mild to moderate cough that lasts between 2-10 days. Patients have shown signs of cough, gagging, and lethargy. Some patients have improved without treatment (disease was self-limiting) and some have used cough suppressants and antibiotics during their sickness. All patients have fully recovered.
This pathogen can be transmitted from dog to dog through coughing and sneezing. Dogs that visit locations where other dogs have been are susceptible to picking this pathogen up (dog parks, pet stores, kennels, grooming salons, dog washes, canine camps/resorts, play areas, daycares etc.). Although most of these areas require appropriate vaccines to be up to date, it appears these pathogens are not ones found in our available vaccines, and thus there is no immunity to these particular pathogens unless patients have already been exposed in the past. All of the cases we have seen have been vaccinated with the typical “kennel cough” vaccine (Bordetella bronchisepticum, Parainfluenza, Adenovirus).
At Town ‘n’ Country, we are working with our vaccine manufacturers to identify the underlying cause of the outbreak and make sure we do not have a lack of vaccine efficacy or a new pathogen to the area (Canine Influenza). We are testing patients and waiting for results to come back. In the meantime, we recommend that if your pet is coughing, avoid taking your pet to parks, play areas, etc. until they are free of the cough for 5-7 days in an attempt to extinguish the community wide outbreak.
If your pet develops a cough, please let us know immediately so we can report it. Keep us updated with your pet’s symptoms as we may suggest medications if the cough is persisting beyond 2-3 days or if the patient feels poorly.
We are committed to serving our clients and our community and therefore have established protocols in place to limit transmission of disease within our hospital and community. We are working with pharmacovigilance departments to identify the cause of this outbreak and help guide recommendations for our patients. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Sharon King, DVM