Some of you may have seen/heard/read that there has been a recent outbreak in Canine Cough in Christchurch so I just wanted to share a bit more info and what to be cautious of over the next wee while:
1. Canine Cough is more commonly known as Kennel cough. There is a common misconception that it is only caught at kennels. This is false. Canine cough is a highly infectious airborne disease that can be caught anywhere where other dogs are present (and obviously areas that have heavy ‘dog traffic’ have greater exposure.
2. “But my dog is vaccinated...?” Canine cough vaccination covers only a couple of strains so just like us and the human flu jab, our doggos can be vaccinated but they can still catch it (just have less of a chance).
3. What are the symptoms? Well, once you hear a canine cough cough, you will know - it is a very distinct sound (very much so like whooping cough in humans) and the coughing will be frequent.
4. If you are worried your furry pal has canine cough, make sure to keep them at home (we are all pros at this now, right?) and away from other dogs. Now it’s time to call the vet to get them seen to - make sure to let them know your dog is coughing so they can prepare appropriately and will tell you to leave your dog in the car when you make the visit (PLEASE don’t go waltzing into the vet clinic with your coughing dog).
If your dog is diagnosed with CC, they will need to be put on antibiotics and to stay at home while they make a recovery.
5. Little itty bitty puppy owners (i'm talking the real youngins that Santa just delivered) - be extra cautious and please follow vaccination restrictions during this time but also all the time. CC is always around, folks.
6. It's hard to determine an 'epicenter' of an outbreak (I'm sure you have all read certain articles pointing fingers all over the place) but we don't have to go into full Level 4 doggy lockdown; you can still enjoy summer adventure but just make sure to be extra tuned in to your doggo and their health. In terms of organisations such as doggy daycares and group dog walking situations, just make sure to keep communications open. They should let you know of any cases/concerns and if not, simply asking a question for a bit of peace of mind won't do anyone any harm :)
**Head to Tail will be in contact directly, asap, if there are any cases/exposure we know of within the HTT family**
7. CC is highly contagious but it isn't the Covid of the doggy world - it has a very low mortality rate but can cause issues for our brachycephalic friends (squished nose breeds) and if left untreated, can go on to cause further health issues such a pneumonia.
8. Furthermore to point #5, we can see (or more so these days, we read about it on panic social media posts) large outbreaks in the community occasionally but Canine Cough is always present. It is always here so please make sure to always stick to puppy vaccination restrictions and keep up with regular vaccinations throughout their doggy years.
9. It's very rare for humans to catch Canine Cough (funny as it sounds that there is still a very small possibility) so if your pooch gets sick, giving them extra fusses, cuddles and kisses won't cause you any harm ;)
Take care everyone.
And please don't put face masks on your dogs - photos below simply for entertainment value!