Canine Respiratory Disease
Canine Respiratory Disease: What Every Pet Parent Needs to Know
Canine respiratory diseases are caused by both viruses and bacteria, and infected dogs may not show any symptoms, just as is the case with people. Viruses and bacteria are transmittable through several different avenues, including but not limited to saliva, feces, blood, and insects. For example, if you step in dog feces infected with Parvovirus, and you walk in your house and your dog licks your shoes, your dog is at risk of infection.
Infectious respiratory diseases are a reality of any setting where dogs come into contact with each other, including daycare, boarding facilities, veterinary clinics, greenways, breweries, grooming salons, and dog parks. This is similar to sending your child to daycare or school. A child showing no symptoms goes to school and through contact with other children, there is an opportunity for the virus to spread. It is not the school’s fault your child got sick; it is simply the reality of socializing your child. The good news is that, like children, dogs can be vaccinated against a variety of potential diseases. Vaccination programs in general should not begin before 6 weeks of age in a puppy. Beginning a vaccination regimen at 8-10 weeks is ideal for most puppies.
At Social Pet, we require every dog staying with us to be at least 16 weeks of age and up-to-date on Bordetella, Distemper, and Rabies, as well as have a negative parasite screening at their most recent vet appointment. It is important to keep in mind that the Bordetella vaccination immunizes against the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium, which is one, but not the only cause of canine cough. Canine respiratory diseases can be caused by both viruses and bacteria, not all of which are preventable by vaccinations. If an infected dog comes into our facility without symptoms, she can still infect other dogs. Furthermore, dogs for whom boarding is a stressful situation are at a higher risk of infection, as stress suppresses the immune system. It is our policy to notify you as soon as we see your dog showing any symptoms of illness, ranging from coughing, to diarrhea, to anything else that is out of the ordinary. If we notice a larger outbreak occurring, we will always notify parents so they can take the best course of action for their dogs. If your dog develops symptoms after returning home, please call us to let us know. In being fully transparent, we keep dog safety, health, and well-being as our number one priority.
Please consult with your veterinarian prior to entering into group settings with your dog, including your upcoming stay at Social Pet, to discuss the benefits as well as the risks associated with group play. Discussing your dog’s lifestyle will help you and your veterinarian determine the best wellness plan for your dog.