LWDG Group Expert Claire Denyer talks to us about what its like to have to cope with a dog with Kennel Cough in a multi-dog house. 

Yesterday did not go as planned... I woke up yesterday morning to hearing a hacking cough. When I went downstairs it was very apparent by the symptoms that poor Rose, my Labrador, has contracted Kennel Cough. Rose had a hacking cough and was bringing up bile and white foam. I recognised the symptoms from when my other Labrador Indy was poorly with Kennel Cough when she was a year old.

Kennel cough is a highly contagious infection. It commonly  causes a persistent hacking cough. You should certainly speak to your vet for advice if you suspect your dog has Kennel cough. For Rose, her cough sounded is in the video below:

The hacking cough sounds nasty, but Kennel Cough isn't usually life threatening. It can however be very serious to a young puppy, to older dogs, and also to dogs with underlying health conditions. Our dogs are vaccinated against Kennel Cough, but unfortunately the vaccine doesn't protect against all strains of Kennel cough.

There's an increase in cases of Kennel Cough at the moment so it's good to be aware of symptoms and what to do if your dog does develop symptoms as it is highly contagious

Seeking Veterinary Advice With Kennel Cough

I called the vet and they wanted to examine her at the end of morning surgery (outside as its highly contagious). Unlike when Indy had Kennel cough, Rose ate her breakfast, although due the persistent coughing it didn't stay down. The vet examined Rose, and prescribed antibiotics and rest.

Today her breakfast has stayed down. I'm keeping her hydrated, giving her honey, and goats milk, and she has a 10 day course of antibiotics prescribed by the vet.

The vet may carry out the following check as demonstrated by LWDG Group Expert Emma Stevens on Remi. If the dog has kennel cough after the pressure is removed the dog will likely cough.

Disclaimers: if the dog doesn’t cough it is not 100% guarantee that they do not have kennel cough. Please make sure if you attempt this you don’t press too hard and you know for certain that there is definitely no blockage in the dogs throat. Please seek medical advice from your vet

Multi Dog Households And Kennel Cough

The welfare of our dogs is the most important thing. At the moment Indy and Dude appear to be fine, but it can take a few days for symptoms to develop and if they have got it they are still contagious before symptoms appear.

Kennel cough symptoms can develop between a few days to a couple of weeks after being exposed. Some dogs can carry and pass on Kennel cough without having any symptoms themselves. There's a lot of cases of Kennel Cough at the moment, we have had quite a few clients cancel due to Kennel cough in recent weeks, and whilst we have taken as many precautions as we can, Rose has unfortunately contracted it. 

Kennel Cough is contagious before symptoms occur and dogs with Kennel Cough, or those living with dogs with Kennel Cough should be isolated for 10 days following symptoms. 

It can be passed from dog to dog pretty easily, not only from droplets in the air, but also from touching an infected dog. It can also be passed on from touching things that have been touched by an infected dog, this includes our clothes, toys, dummies,  food and water bowls, to name a few. We have been contacting clients due to see us over the coming days, and taking precautions, including  changing clothes before seeing clients, and not using any dummies or equipment our dogs have touched.

We advise our clients not to bring a dog to class if they suspect they have Kennel Cough, or if they been around a dog who has Kennel cough, just in case they are carrying it but not showing symptoms, and the same advice is important for anyone who are concerned their dog may have Kennel Cough or may have been in contact with a dog with it. Always seek advice from your Veterinary Surgeon.

Isolation Training You Can Carry Out At Home

There are lots of training that you can carry out at home. The following video includes Heel, position transitions, steadiness, self control, hold, delivery of retrieve, hand touch, settle etc. 

You can do this with all dogs that are in isolation due to Kennel Cough, but are not suspected of having or having Kennel Cough as these dogs need to rest. 

Further information can also be found on the Kennel Clubs website about Kennel Cough 

More About LWDG Group Expert Claire Denyer…

I am a trainer and behaviourist. I run Family Dog Services alongside my husband John. I have been training and working with gundogs professionally for just about 5 years, training gundogs for fun for about 9 years. All my dogs before Indy were pets only. I am passionate about pet and gundog training and showing owners how appropriate training can help prevent behavioural problems with pet dogs, and, that gundog training doesn't require harsh handling. I am the author of the puppy book 'The Life Of Rose' (raising puppies the family dog services way).

As a LWDG Group Expert Claire Denyer is involved in many of our monthly masterclasses and weekly live coaching sessions for our members. Below is an example of one of Claire's Masterclasses, this one is on Reluctant Retrieving. PLEASE NOTE - To see the contents you have to be a logged in Society Member. You can log in here, or join here.

Society Masterclass with Claire Denyer:

Masterclass - Introduction

Step 2 - Retrieving with Puppies

Step 3 - Developing Recall

Step 4 - Breeds and Retrieving Limits

Step 5 - Delivery Aides

Step 6 - Getting The Delivery

Step 7 - Recap

Live Q And A With Claire Denyer

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