Winchester and Basingtoke areas beware!

One morning early last week, I awoke to find a very distressed Pebble. She was (I thought) desperately trying to dislodge something in her throat. Seemingly unable to clear said blockage, I became increasingly worried and took her to see the vet. Immediately on presentation, Colin at Stable Close in St.Cross, diagnosed the dreaded Kennel Cough…

Despite being regularly vaccinated this highly contagious disease managed to get through Pebble’s immune system. Needless to say both Teasle and Bumble also went down with it. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory (Pebble) drugs have cleared it up and all three are much better now. We have also been giving them paediatric cough mixture to sooth their throats. Teasle loves it but the other two…well! 

So why did the girls catch it?…

Bordetella bronchiseptica

This bacteria species is known for causing canine upper respiratory infections – known colloquially as kennel cough. This disease in dogs is usually self-limiting and mild, but much like the flu in humans, can cause complications in immunocompromised and elderly populations. Kennel cough is known for being extremly contagious through droplet transmission. Each cough produces aerosolized droplets of mucus which are chock-full of bacteria. These droplets hang in the air and on surfaces, waiting to come into contact with another dog.

B.bronchiseptica are gram-negative organisms, which means they have multiple cell membranes. This gives them a little extra protection which can make them harder to kill. They also can sometimes present with tail-like structures called flagella, which helps their motility and could contribute to their high infectivity.

Kennel cough’s cousin B.pertussis can cause a human respiratory infection called whooping cough. B.bronchiseptica does not usually infect humans but may cause disease in someone who is immunocompromised.

A bit of a long post but I wanted to make as many of you aware as possible in our area of Winchester and Basingstoke. There is a huge outbreak and, in the middle of last week, my vets said that every other call they were receiving turned out to be a dog with kennel cough.

Prince Pooch has been closed as a precautionary measure, allowing me to deep clean with some very powerful disinfectant to ensure all my visitors are safe. Access for the time being will be via the back gate and no playing with my girls until further notice.

Advice with regards to your own dog’s would be to try and avoid busy dog walking areas. I cannot stress how distressing it is for an animal to suffer with this and also for their humans to watch on, seemingly helplessly. Stay safe.