South Bend Reports Spike in Canine Respiratory Disease

South Bend Reports Spike in Canine Respiratory Disease

Kennel cough is on the rise in South Bend, according to several kennels and veterinary practices in the area. However, experts stress that this uptick in cases is not a cause for alarm, as the disease is easily treatable and can be prevented with proper vaccination.

“We have definitely seen an increase in veterinary clinics across the state that are seeing dogs coming in with a dry hacking cough,” said Melissa Justice of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, as reported by the South Bend Tribune.

Also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, kennel cough is commonly caused by the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica. It is often described as a dry, hacking cough in dogs. Kennel cough can spread quickly either through the air or through direct dog-to-dog contact and can cause outbreaks in areas where canines often congregate, such as kennels, pet daycares, and public parks.

Whenever possible, veterinarians advise against bringing dogs in for diagnosis or treatment, given the disease’s highly contagious nature. That said, most dogs recover from kennel cough even without treatment, though antibiotics and cough suppressants can help minimize their symptoms and hasten their recovery.

Preventing Kennel Cough

Tami Kobb, manager of Mishawaka animal boarding facility Linda’s Camp K9, recommends that pet owners get the Bordetella vaccine for their dogs, as this is the best-known method for preventing the disease. Pet owners should also regularly clean their dog’s water bowls, disinfect their pet’s toys, custom dog beds, and personalized puppy blankets, and constantly monitor their pup’s health.

For owners with multiple pets, it’s a good idea to purchase several dog stainless steel bowls or custom collapsible travel cups in different colors or designs. This can help them differentiate which bowl belongs to which dog. Having several of these products on hand can also make it easier to change their pet’s bowls more frequently throughout the day. 

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