Kennel Cough cases showing up at veterinarian offices

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KIRKWOOD, MO. (KTVI) - Veterinarians are warning dog owners about an epidemic of 'kennel cough' in the St. Louis area.  At the Kirkwood Animal Hospital typically every week they treat one or two dogs with kennel cough but right now they`re seeing four a day or almost 30 a week.  Dr. Abby Whiting works at the hospital, ''It`s a dry hacking cough that they do sometimes it even gags them or they throw up.'

6 month old Lilly has it.  The puppy was recently boarded at a kennel.  The illness has her family upset.  12 year old Caroline Arnold loves her puppy, 'She kind of worries me cause me she doesn`t want to play with us and she`s always coughing and she`s really uncomfortable.'  Dogs don`t have to be in a kennel to catch the airborne illness they can easily get infected at a dog park, the groomers, day care or even meeting another pet on the street.  Dr. Whiting added, 'Very similar to how people get colds.'

It last 7 to ten days and it can kill if a young or old and sickly dog that gets the illness.  At Stray Rescue they do everything they can to prevent the spread of kennel cough. They have a quarantine room for infected animals.  And dogs have special ventilation so they don`t share the same air flow.

Caroline Arnold said, 'It sounds like she`s choking almost but she`s coughing and we`re not really sure and it scares us.'  To prevent the sickness talk to your vet, your dog may need a kennel cough vaccine and if they`ve had that then a booster.  There are other vaccines that can protect your pet but there`s no full proof protection.  Dr. Whiting said, 'What we know the dogs who are vaccinated with this protocol they don`t seem to get as sick so it`s not a 100 percent guarantee your pet won`t get sick but it will certainly limit how sick they do get.'  Cats and people cannot catch kennel cough from a dog.

For more information on Kennel Cough, click here.

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