Over the last month, we at the Bradford Animal Clinic have been seeing many dogs come in with a nasty cough. The dogs are usually healthy in every other way, except for the persistent hacking cough! This also is sometimes accompanied by whitish phlegm being coughed up as well. The dogs are generally eating and drinking normally, though some have shown signs of being lethargic.
This condition seems to be limited to the upper respiratory tract and usually doesn’t progress to a cold or pneumonia, but may persist for 2-3 weeks as a nose/throat cold or laryngitis. We believe this to be a virus with a secondary bacterial infection, or could be a strain of kennel cough.
In most cases we have encountered, the dogs have had a history of playing at a dog park, or have been in contact with large groups of dogs. We remind people that dog parks are like big kindergartens for our dogs. Just like our children heading off to school, we need to take proper precautions with vaccinations, as they will come in contact with seasonal flus and colds.
Although most municipalities require dogs that use the dog parks to be fully vaccinated, there is no requirement to show any proof. Please be sure your pets are fully vaccinated and up to date, especially when using a dog park or other dog activities!
If your dog is experiencing a cough that doesn’t go away in 2-3 days, or you notice any other signs, make an appointment to see your veterinarian!