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Corpus Christi is currently being hit with an outbreak of canine cough. We want pet parents to know the facts of this upper respiratory disease which is also known as canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC) or, more commonly, as “kennel cough” even though it can be contracted virtually anywhere dogs gather including:

  • Veterinary clinics
  • Parks
  • Dog-friendly establishments
  • Your neighborhood

Canine cough, caused by both viruses and bacteria, is a primarily airborne disease which is why it can spread so easily. An infected dog coughs and the aerosolized infectious particles can travel in the air and stay viable (alive and infectious) for extended periods of time. Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve all had a crash course in how easily and quickly infectious aerosols can spread (and we can’t get dogs to wear masks or understand social distancing).

Impossible to avoid

Canine cough is the most common infectious respiratory condition diagnosed in dogs. It is a highly contagious condition which is often compared to a human cold. Your child goes to school and can catch a cold or the flu; you can catch a cold or flu at work, on a plane, or from friends and family. It is a similar situation with your pets.

The most effective way to prevent disease is to avoid exposure but this is not practical as most pets are considered part of the family and do leave the house. As indicated above, the places for potential exposure are virtually everywhere. Moreover, dogs can be asymptomatic but still able to spread the disease (another lesson we learned during the pandemic).

It’s important to note that puppies and senior dogs, as well as those dogs who have not had the bivalent (H3N2, H3N8) influenza vaccine, are more at risk for contracting upper respiratory infection.

The good news

Canine cough, if caught early, generally causes mild disease. The most common symptom is a dry hacking cough. Although fever, lack of appetite, lethargy and vomiting can occur, those symptoms are infrequent, especially in vaccinated dogs.

What we do to mitigate the risk of spread

Barkaritaville Pet Resort has a battalion of protocols in place to help prevent the spread of canine cough at our facility:

  • We have strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols that have been further strengthened over the past year in response to the pandemic.
  • Our facility has a commercial grade UV air sanitizer installed to help kill the infectious airborne pathogens as they circulate the air.
  • Only pets that are fully vaccinated for canine cough are admitted here. Nevertheless, we occasionally do have guests contract canine cough. Unfortunately, it can take up to 10 days after exposure for a pet to show any signs of illness, so infected dog could be admitted and spread the disease to others in the resort without our knowledge.

Canine cough can be caught anywhere but your pet is part of our family and, just like family, we will do everything in our power to keep them safe and healthy while they’re with us.