Tag Archives: kennel cough

Canberra’s Kennel Cough Outbreak


Over the past few weeks we have seen a large increase in the number of dogs presenting to us with Canine Cough, also known as ‘Kennel Cough’.

Kennel Cough is a highly contagious respiratory illness which often presents with a harsh and persistent hacking cough, like your pet has something stuck in their throat. You may also notice sneezing, nasal discharge, lethargy or loss of appetite.

Kennel Cough is transmitted via water droplets and can be passed on via direct contact with an infected animal as well as indirectly by coming into contact with a contaminated surface (e.g. the shared water bowl at a public dog park).

We have even seen infections occur in dogs who haven’t left their backyard, which makes the name ‘Kennel Cough’ very misleading. Whilst a boarding kennel is a popular place for an outbreak due to large gatherings of dogs in one place, infections can occur anywhere, regardless of whether your dog goes to kennels or not.

Luckily, there are vaccines available to help prevent your pet from contracting this illness. Although vaccination doesn’t guarantee immnuity from the desease, it does reduce your pet’s chances and means an infection will be less severe and easier to treat than if they didn’t receive the vaccination.

If you notice any signs that your pet may be unwell or you need to check your pet’s vaccination status, please call us on 62302223.

Boarding your pet

Holiday plans are not complete without accommodation arrangements for your pets, too. Many holiday accommodations are now pet friendly but most people have to leave their pets behind. Ideally, they should stay in their own home and yard with a friend, relative or house-sitter looking after them.

Many pets spend happy holidays at boarding facilities and even look forward to their own break from home routines. If possible visit the cattery or kennels beforehand, inspect the accommodation and meet the staff.

All commercial boarding establishments are licensed by the local authority but standards vary. Seek out recommendations from friends, neighbours or your veterinary surgeon. Some people like to trial board their dogs for a weekend or a few days and see how they settle.

Check that your pets’ vaccinations are up-to-date well before the holiday. Kennels insist upon current cover for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and kennel cough for dogs and enteritis, calicivirus and herpesvirus for cats.

A single intra-nasal kennel cough immunization at least 72 hours before boarding covers dogs previously unvaccinated for kennel cough for 12 months. Other vaccinations take at least ten days to take effect.