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Is Calgary facing an outbreak of kennel cough?

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WATCH: A flu-like illness found in our pets seems to be making the rounds in Calgary. As Lisa MacGregor reports, cases of kennel cough are being reported by dog owners across the city – Dec 11, 2017

Does your dog have kennel cough? With several cases of the canine disease surfacing up dog daycares and veterinary clinics around Calgary, owners should be on the lookout for symptoms in their dogs.

Veterianarian Dr. Kent Morley said he treated a few cases of it on Monday, which is not something he commonly sees during the wintertime.

“Mostly because it’s usually snow and cold and people are inside. But now it’s warm and it’s beautiful outside so a lot more people are outside and with that, other dogs go with them. So there’s a lot more contact dogs to dogs at off-leash parks,” Morley said.

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Morley said most of the time, the most noticeable symptom is going to be a productive cough.

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“Some sound like a goose honking. Some people think the dog has something stuck in their throat,” Morley said.

The level of sickness of the canine respiratory disease varies.

“Some dogs can be quite sick and can develop pneumonia that needs treatment. But most dogs just develop a minor cough that’s self limiting within about seven to 10 days,” Morley said.

“The most important part is to keep your dog away from other dogs because it is contagious.”

READ MORE: Winnipeg veterinarians seeing an increase in kennel cough cases

Keeping dogs away from their other dog pals is easier said than done when their owners need to drop them off at doggie daycare.

Unlike most Calgary dog daycares, Sleep Rover Doggie Hotel and Daycare doesn’t make kennel cough a required vaccination.

Team lead at Sleep Rover, Carling Middlestead, said they support dogs developing an immunity to it.

“Getting vacinated against it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get it. We treat it like a common flu and so we think owners should talk to their vets and trust their vets advice and work to decide if it’s the best option for them,” Middlestead said.

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Dr. Morley recommends getting your dog vaccinated to lower the risk of getting the disease and the length of the sickness if your dog does get kennel cough.

“Kennel cough is an umbrella term that covers a lot of different infectious agents; so viruses, a different organism called Mycoplasma and bacteria, but with the Bordetella Vaccine, you’re actually going to get protection against that most common bacteria that causes kennel cough,” Morley said.

Middlestead said their team always checks the dozens of dogs they see daily for signs of kennel cough in an attempt to avoid an outbreak.

“Dogs that are more lethargic than usual, we kind of keep an eye on them. Any sort of cough that develops we’ll make note of it right away… any sort of running nose,” Middlestead said.

“If we suspect that a dog might be infected with something like kennel cough, we’ll let the owner know right away and they’ll come it pick up.”

READ MORE: Cases of deadly dog bacteria ‘on the rise’ throughout Halifax Regional Municipality

If your dog is infected or showing signs of kennel cough, there is a medication for it.

“We usually use medication called Hycodan, so that’s an opioid medication that helps suppress cough,” Morley said.

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The recommended medication also helps your furry family member get lots of rest.

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