Vet issues disease warning to protect four-legged friends
AN outbreak of a potentially fatal disease for dogs has prompted one Ipswich vet to issue an urgent warning for all pet owners to keep a close eye on their four-legged friends.
An alarming number of dogs have been rushed to the Ripley Veterinary Hospital this month following a spike in the number of pooches being diagnosed with kennel cough.
Kennel Cough is a highly infectious disease which affects a dog’s respiratory system, and can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate or socialise, such as dog parks, obedience classes or boarding kennels.
If left untreated, it has the potential to progress into a more serious and life-threatening infection if pneumonia and chronic bronchitis develop.
Ripley Veterinary Hospital owner, Dr Andrew Hemming, said his practice was treating a number of infected dogs each day.
“I believe the outbreak started about two weeks ago,” he said.
“We are seeing anywhere between one to three dogs a day coming in for treatment, and nearly all have been from Ripley.
“Pet owners should be on the lookout for a harsh, hacking cough coming from their dog, which sounds like they are trying to cough up some phlegm.
“The dog could also go off colour for a bit, where they become lethargic, or go off their food.”
“Dr Hemming said the disease was highly contagious and could be easily spread from one dog to another.
“Kennel cough can be spread by water bowls in dog parks, or other communal areas,” he said.
“It can also be spread by fomites, which is inanimate objects where the disease can spread, like people’s clothing.
“That is why it is really important if your dog has kennel cough, they should be kept at home to rest until a week after the symptoms have resolved.
“Owners should also have a shower and change their clothes before leaving home, and wash their hands really well.”
If you suspect your dog is suffering from kennel cough, rush them to the vet immediately to be treated.
Dr Hemming said vaccinations were also key to keeping more dogs in the community healthy.