View Full Version : kennel cough confusion

23rd February 2007, 04:33 PM
:? HELP i need advice on kenneling. Soon iI will need to put charlie and Duke into kennels for a few days. After visiting almost every kennel around me and that was a fair few ! I have finally chosen the one i felt the most comfortable with and believe the dogs will be well looked after. Only now I find out that they dont insist on dogs having kennel cough vaccinations as they dont feel it makes a difference either way? I am confused :? I will of course have charlie and duke vaccinated but would they be at risk from the illness from dogs who are not vaccinated ? any advice would be welcome :D

23rd February 2007, 04:38 PM
Many dogs that get the shot -- still get kennel cough. I am surprised how many people think their dogs are covered for all upper respiratory illnesses by giving the shot.

23rd February 2007, 05:51 PM
Kennel cough is not just 1 virus, I think the concensus is that the shot is ineffective. My whole litter and younger dog got it, I have to this day , no clue how...it can just be in the air. So unless there is a sick dog already there, which I would hope not, they probably don't have problems.

Cathy T
23rd February 2007, 09:21 PM
I wanted to let you know I've moved this topic from Introductions into General. I think more people will see if here and you'll get more feedback.

Sorry I don't have info for you :?

23rd February 2007, 10:10 PM

To be perfectly honest I don't think it makes any difference either. We used to have a GSD (now at the Bridge) and she was vaccinated against kennel cough regularly as we used to sometimes leave her for a weekend in an extremely clean, well run kennels.

She got kennel cough and we almost lost her from it as she was so ill but apparently they'd had no other reports of infected dogs. The owners rang everyone whose dogs had been boarded with them over that month and there were no other cases (well, none that were admitted to).

If it makes you feel better then get them vaccinated against it but after the experience I had with Teddy I no longer bother with it.

Saying that, my boys never go into kennels. They either stay home with someone or they go on holidays to either family or friends :lol:

23rd February 2007, 10:45 PM
A KC shot is like getting the flu shot -- effective against the most common strains and what are considered to be potentially more aggressive strains. There are always variations that are not covered and there are also differences in a dog's ability to handle an infection -- for many reasons a dog can have a weakened immune system and will still get some strain of respiratory infection. There are a lot of types of respiratory infection that are not kennel cough, too -- somewhat like getting a cold.

There are good reasons why most kennels insist on KC vax. It can sweep through a kennel and dogs can get very seriously ill -- progressing to pneumonia (one board member here has a cavalier that KC which progressed to pneumoni and ended up with the dog in emergency care at the vet school for many days). For a healthy, active dog, getting KC is usually more an inconvenience than anything else. It goes on and on sometimes but doesn't seem all that bothersome to the dog.

Most kennels will go for general protection as best practice -- by requiring KC it significantly reduces the chance of KC spreading through a whole kennel where there are always likely to be some dogs that could get very seriously ill. At the same time there is always the possibility of some dogs getting some other strain of KC, and also, dogs may pass round other viruses (Lily came out of kennels last time with a minor virus that lasted 3 or 4 weeks and has only finally cleared up). Also most kennels would need to require it as an insurance element. For that reason, I would ask any kennel not requiring it if they are licensed and insured. Personally I wouldn't want to put my dogs where KC wasn't required.

I also think a lot of dogs coming out of kennels with a virus do not have KC but some other respiratory infection (like Lily), though people assume it is KC and therefore that the vaccine wasn't effective.

23rd February 2007, 11:18 PM
And when all else fails, check with your veterinarian and get his opinion. My dogs get the bordatella vaccine when they get the rest of their vaccinations. I'd rather have them vaccinated than take the risk - but that's just me!

24th February 2007, 11:03 AM
:p Hi and thanks to all the advice everyone posted, I think I understand Kennel cough a lot more now, and with that in mind will rethink my choice of kennels. I usually take my boys with me when I go away but that not an option this time :( I suppose the first time I have to leave them will be the hardest. dont remember being this anxious when I had to leave my 2 sons for the first time. think i was the opposite in fact icon_whistling

24th February 2007, 11:12 AM
My dogs get the KC vaccine. The doggy daycare they go to required a KC shot, before the dogs could stay there. 2 of my dogs still developed a cough after going to daycare. However, the cough was mild. I was told by my vet and the daycare that the vaccine doesn't protect against all strains of the virus. I like Karlin's example of comparing to the human flu shot. That's a good analogy.

I still get the KC vaccine every year. I think it is best to protect them as best we can, but you now realize that the KC vaccine isn't bullet proof.

Barbara Nixon
24th February 2007, 11:45 AM
The vets who've taken over our practice have introduced a new brand of vaccination which includes a kennel cough eliment, so i assume that they are for it. However, the one who retired told me she considered it a waste of time, as there are so many strains.

One good thing: Several years ago, there was an outbreak of KC at our training class and only Izzy,not vaccinated against kc, and another cavalier, who was, were the only dogs not to get it.

24th February 2007, 05:51 PM
I also think a lot of dogs coming out of kennels with a virus do not have KC but some other respiratory infection (like Lily), though people assume it is KC and therefore that the vaccine wasn't effective.

Our GSD had a sputum test to identify what it was and it was definitely kennel cough :( She also had a variety of blood tests taken to see if there was anything else underlying. Our Vets are very thorough.

Cathy Moon
24th February 2007, 06:22 PM
When Geordie was sick with KC as a puppy, our vet told us that the disease can start off as KC, then a secondary bacterial infection can result. That's what happened to Geordie. He had to be scoped and then they grew a culture to find the most effective antibiotic.

I keep all my cavs up to date on their Bordetella vaccinations, then if we need to go on an unplanned trip, they are ready to go to the kennel, which requires the vaccination.