I wanted to update my blog on Kennel Cough - due to our recent surge in new clients and of course - new ways to overcome Kennel Cough in dogs. I have also posted my original post from 2012 - which has not changed too much. This can also be found on our Facebook Fan Page as well as at the end of this post!
Today is January 4th, 2016 - and this Holiday Season, pretty much the month of December - we experienced a higher than normal occurrence of Kennel Cough (compared to the last 2 years).
As noted below - just like the human flu - where you have a choice to vaccinate yourself or not, we give this option for our clients as well. Being an airborne virus - there is not a huge set thing we can do, to negate this virus 100% from our surroundings.
To date - the last 4 weeks, of the reported cases at Sleep Rover, which we posted in public on our Facebook Page - we received in total of 11 cases. All 11 cases but 1, were all new clients. All 11 clients, had received the Bordetella Vaccine. One client, progressed to pneumonia and is currently healing on antibiotics. So at 11 cases (4 of them young dogs, meaning under 1 year old) - and over 250 different clients that checked in and out for the last 2 weeks of December, that is less than 10%. It is still high for us, as the last 3 years since my post back in 2012 - we have maybe received 20 cases at most for the WHOLE YEAR. Total of 12 Lice cases for 2015 and a total of 2 flea cases. Remember, we have over 1000 dogs going in and out of our facility per month. Those are impressive and admirable numbers. We have a very healthy facility and clients that take great care of their dogs, and on top - we keep our clients in the know when we feel the 'seasons' are near - to prep everyone!
It is safe to say, when it is human flu season, it is also dog flu season!
One might ask why, if they got the vaccine, they would still get it and be sick. Not being a vet myself, I would assume this is due to the different strains that are ever changing.
With proper measures - dogs usually recover from the Dog Flu within the week. I would say if your dog gets ill and shows drastic lethargy quickly and does not eat or drink - an emergency trip to the vet should be in place.
SIDE NOTE: WE DO require mandatory vaccines for yearly boosters for Distemper/Parvo and of course Rabies!
Over the years, my 6 dogs have not gotten the Bordetella shot. I have nothing against this shot for those that do take it. My boy Benjamin, at 6 mos old last year 2015, got the shot by accident (I forgot to advise my vet), and he proceeded to get Kennel Cough which progressed to pneumonia within a week. Did the Bordetella help him or not? That will always be the question. My other 5 dogs did not get it last year being around him.
Instead of the shot, what do I do? Remember again, this is how I deal with my dogs, as well as our staff at Sleep Rover. If you do not agree, nor do you wish to have your dog in a facility that practices natural remedies - please do find alternate care at facilities with your mindset.
When Flu season is upon us, I follow the same steps below posted in 2012, which is amp up the Broth intake for my dogs and add Oregano Oil.
Over the years, especially for 2015 - I learned some more remedies - due to the fact that I myself, got hit hard with the flu in 2015. Lack of sleep, stress, and long work hours made me more susceptible to it - and of course my lack of working out and eating right.
Here are my top 4 recommendations that I feel keeps myself and my dogs healthy!
1. BONE BROTH - although not Vegan friendly - Bone Broth has extreme qualities that benefit your health. Everyone always suggests 'Chicken Noodle Soup' when you are ill - because not only do you lose your appetite when you are sick (whether nauseated, or diarrhea or just lack of appetite) - you want something that makes your body feel good. A hot tasty 'feel good' soup is what you need! Every week, I usually roast a chicken and save the bones! My post here! A basic roast - as we want to keep dog ingestion basic. No BBQ Sauces, no hot sauces, if you can hold back the salt too for the roast, even better! I will also roast on top of Celery and Carrots - and keep that for the broth. If you put garlic or onions, remember to take these out as they are toxic to dogs. If you have the access, big beef bones are amazing, including marrow bones, knuckle bones etc. Stewing them for over 24 hours to give it that gelatin feel, is the best broth - full of nutritious ingredients! I boil the soup for the aroma, and mix 1 cup hot broth with 1 cup cold water to serve! If you do not have time, put it with their kibble! I like to give it to them on its own to have a clear broth meal to clean out their system! *HOW DO YOU INCREASE YOUR DOGS FLUIDS if they will not drink water?* Well noone turns down Bone Broth! Read more here! http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/reasons-your-dog-love-bone-broth/
I know when I use to get sick as a kid, my parents always made me homemade soup
with special asian ingredients! Even when I was just under the weather. Always did the trick!
2. Turmeric Paste!
I learned that this is good for dogs - when I started the "GOLDEN MILK" recipe for my joints. Getting older and on the computer so much.. and well, lack of exercise.. made my joints super 'creeky'. Like old stairs. I never thought I would understand that feeling.. but well - it has happened to me! After a week of this, I noticed the cure within 3 days of taking this twice a week. When 2 weeks past, I forgot to make a new batch - and within a week, my joints started at it again. After reading more about Turmeric Paste - I realized it not only helps joints, it increases your bodies immunity. It pretty much is nourishment for your body! FYI: You must add the GROUND pepper, to enable the turmeric's abilities. Heating it as well is extremely important - and well the oil helps your body absorb it. DO NOT MISS A STEP or you will be wasting your time and money. Also - Turmeric needs to be organic - has to contain the curcuma part of it. What is odd - i have trouble getting my husband to drink Golden Milk (with Almond milk) - but my dogs - get super stoked when the Golden Paste mixture is out! THEY LOVE IT! Start small at 1/8 of a teaspoon and work your way up!
3. Honey! I have always recommended Honey in hot water - to melt it - and add cold water to make it lukewarm - and give the dogs 1 cup every few hours to sooth their throat. What is amazing now - is there is a type of honey - that you can only find at Health Food Stores - that have healing properties! You do not need much! It is called Manuka Honey! It also has topical healing properties! #savethebees Learn more here! http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/07/23/manuka-honey.aspx
4. Oregano Oil! This is one thing I have not tried on my own - but is widely used for humans. We at Sleep Rover sell the Pet Version of it with Oregapet! I have given this to my dogs every flu season - and whether it has helped or not - I know it contributes to it! I have always placed a few drops in their Bone Broth. Here is their claim on their product! Although I solely use it during Flu Season - it has other claims such as gut health and even deworming! Wow! We do use the oil on our beds if any fleas or lice are found! http://oregapet.com/ca/oregano-drops.html
Of course - lots of rest and fresh air if possible!
If you have any questions - please do not hesitate to contact me! I am always learning - and gathering more knowledge with experience handling so many dogs.
What to know about Kennel Cough!! Our Views and Suggestions!
Similar to the human flu - we at Sleep Rover believe it is your personal choice on how you wish to treat your dogs when it comes to the care for your animal.
You have a choice to socialize your dog in dog environments such as dog training, dog daycares and offleash parks - or keep them at home. Bacteria related sicknesses, especially Kennel Cough are airborne - and any contact with dogs in a close vicinity - will get infected.
Similar to humans - a stressed or poorly rested individual or someone who has not developed immunity to all these current bacterias in the world - will be more susceptible than another. Some get sick every month, some get sick every few years. Some take vaccines and do not get sick, some take vaccines and still get sick.
I for one, do not take the flu vaccine, i am bound to get sick once a year (usually in Nov) and pretty much spend the year fighting certain bacterias - especially on days I lack sleep or do not eat well! My throat gets sore, I get groggy. However overall - I deem myself healthy! Will I not get sick getting the flu vaccine and live my life sick free - I doubt it.
I can't speak for people that have taken vaccines if they feel 100% all the time! However I do know that getting a vaccine does not leave you bullet proof from getting sick.
So in turn, I give this option to our clients. Bordetella and Revolution are optional - because I do not believe in overvaccinating. My philosophy is that we will grow our immunity and become more self reliant this way. However as noted - this is just MY opinion and you are free to do and choose what you feel is right.
I also give the option to clients that if they choose to - they are more than welcome to vaccinate their dogs for their ease of mind. I will not judge as this is a topic that everyone struggles with not just themselves, but their dog also.
Last year during our September 2011 Kennel Cough outbreak, which closed down two dog kennels in Calgary for a month - we had a total of 23 infected dogs clients reported. Just like the flu season might bring down your office (everyone seems to be calling in sick!). Out of 23 of the dogs, 8 of them had their Kennel Cough shot. So because they got their Kennel Cough shot - we are told it lessens the duration.. does it? During this time, everyone that displayed symptoms, we did kennel the dog and asked them to be taken home. We were Kennel Cough free into October.
Reason why I post this now, is for everyone to see our point of view and our suggestions. Spring is coming.. if not has already been here for the last 2 months - so Kennel Cough is just around the corner. In the last 3 months, we have had about 6 reported cases - which is really low - however still in the air due to the warm weather.
Preventative measures, is obvious, do not go where dogs go - however who wants to coup up their poor dog 24/7? That is no life for anyone.
Another option is to avoid dog parks, dog training facilities and dog daycares and kennels. Once again - another extreme choice. How long do you do this? For all of spring, summer and fall??
Thirdly (my choice) - keep you dog healthy, supplements (ask about them at your nearby Tailblazers), vitamns, healthy dog foods - and keep them well rested and exercised!! JUST LIKE HUMANS!
If symptoms occur - follow natural remedies such as vitamn C, echinacea and honey with warm water to sooth the throat. Add a humidifier in your room by your dogs sleeping area -Calgary air is dry - we all feel it!!
At the end, do your own research and if need be, ask your vet and make the decision on your own.
Any questions, feel free to ask us!! Do not be alarmed if your pet starts showing symptoms of Kennel Cough - however also be precautionary that like the Human Flu - it can easily turn from a simple cough to extreme respiratory issues!!
If your dog eats, remains happy and active and isn't lethargic - keep an eye on them. However if your dog starts sporting a fever, is lethargic, isn't drinking or eating - take them to a vet immediately to make sure it isn't any other underlying problems.
Here are some great reads (more intellectually stated than my blog entry):
Hope you all found this helpful in one way or another! We are all always learning and that is what keeps us open minded!