A LEADING Solihull vet is warning dog owners about a rising number of kennel cough cases in the region.
Robin Bone, clinical director at Linnaeus-owned 608 Vet Practice at Warwick Road, Solihull, and has practices in Bentley Heath and Acocks Green, fears the outbreak could worsen as more dogs go into kennels during the summer holidays.
Kennel cough, or acute tracheobronchitis as it is medically known, is a highly contagious, airborne disease spread through dogs being in close contact, especially in poorly ventilated areas, and from sharing toys and bowls.
“Unfortunately, we have seen an increasing number of kennel cough cases over the past couple of months,” said Robin.
“The disease is a mixed viral and bacterial respiratory infection, which is airborne and highly contagious, so can spread easily.
“Kennel cough is, in fact, a misnomer as it can be caught anywhere that dogs congregate.
“We have seen many cases over the past couple of months which have, thankfully, responded well to treatment – usually anti-inflammatories and painkillers plus antibiotics, if necessary.
“There is also a vaccine available to help prevent the disease which can be administered to puppies from eight weeks of age with immunity typically lasting for one year.”
Robin is urging dog owners to protect their pets by having them vaccinated this summer and said people should contact their vet straight away if they think their animal is infected.
He added: “If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, contact your vet who will be able to provide treatment to alleviate the symptoms and keep your pet comfortable.
“It is not usually dangerous but it does have some unpleasant symptoms including a persistent cough, gagging and the production of mucous.
“Brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed dogs) such as pugs and French bulldogs can also suffer more acute problems due to their narrow airways.”
For more information visit www.608vets.com.