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Old 01-11-2010, 06:51 AM
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Default Kennel cough question

I am currently fostering for a pretty shady animal shelter, and this IS my last foster through them. I have talked to a collie rescue and I will be fostering though them (YAY!!!)

My dogs have their bortitella vac. but i know that it is not 100% effective. is it worth even giving the vac?
Is kennel cough a big deal? Dont the dogs just have a cough for a couple of weeks and usually it is not even treated... right?
I worry about over vac. my dogs. but I do want them as safe as can be.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:35 AM
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All I can tell you from my experience is I rescued a dog that had 1 day left of 14 days of medication for kennel cough and seemed fine. Well, my other dogs (3 had the vaccine and 1 didn't) got kennel cough. One of my dogs who had the vaccine got it so bad that he almost went into pneumonia and I had to give him injections instead of pills try to get him better as well as taking him in the bathroom with the hot shower on to control the deep coughing.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:45 AM
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Kennel cough is a pain in the butt, ... but nothing really serious. I wouldn't be really, really worried, though being sick is never fun. There are always cases where it becomes very serious.. but in my experience, an otherwise healthy, young, strong dog.. compare it to the flu. Yucky, sucks.. but they'll live and be fine with proper medical care.


I have seen kennel cough in dogs in shelters, and I have seen it in pets through the vet I work at. MAJOR difference, IMO. Dogs in shelters usually already have compromised immune systems because of how dirty, poor quality food, worms, etc. Pets seem to breeze through this just fine, assuming they are well cared for and have no other health problems.

If this were the situation where I was the receptionist and you called me, it is our practice to recommend a booster. Me personally.. if they are already exposed, I truly honestly do not believe a booster will prevent them from getting it. Either their immune system already kicked it in the butt, or they are sick(assuming enough time has passed by for infection/clinical signs to have showed up). If their immune system already kicked it in the butt, a booster is useless.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:51 AM
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thank you very much.
The shelter dog has just now starting coughing. and is now back at the shelter. my dogs were exposed, but for a short period of time. they are one the bortitella vac.
maybe they will not catch it.

i am soooo done with this crazy shelter
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:59 AM
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IME Kennel cough isn't a big deal. They cough for a while and it often sounds awful, but they recover on their own. It varies from one vet to the next as to if and what to do for kennel cough as well as depends on the severity. Most of the meds I've seen given are nothing more than cough syrup.

It's really more like getting a cold more than like getting the flu.

Sometimes it will worsen and develop into pneumonia, but usually it just runs its course and all is fine.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:09 AM
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My dogs have been exposed to KC since I work at a shelter and they have yet to get it, regardless of vaccine status. Ime stressed dogs are likely to get it, vaccine or not, and happy, well-treated dogs are waaay less likely to show symptoms.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:18 AM
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i really doubt my guys will get it. but I am waiting a while before I foster any other dogs to make sure we dont have it.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:08 PM
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Bella got kennel cough once and if she was exposed to it so was Elle and she didnt get it... this is without the vac. which none of mine get. So whether they even get it or not is hit or miss. It was pretty easy to get rid of, she took meds for two weeks and that was it... she stopped coughing within days of starting the meds. The vet had told us they can be contagious for 4 weeks or so... so honestly the biggest hassle was keeping her away from other peoples dogs for a month (we didnt quarantine from our own dogs).

Hopefully none of yours will get it, but dont be too worried...everything will be fine either way.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:09 PM
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The problem with the bordetella vaccine is that is only protects against certain strains of the virus, but there are plenty of other strains actively out there infecting dogs.

Good luck in Collie rescue!!
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:34 PM
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The rescue we fostered for in Tucson specialized in dogs with KC, because the county shelter would put them down the very day they started getting runny eyes, coughing, etc.

Everybody that fostered (and there was over 30 of us) had our own dogs. All of the fosters had active cases of KC. Not once did a resident dog catch it from the fosters. It was something we actually brought up at each monthly meeting, and it never happened. Healthy non stressed dogs tend not to get it.

Also, none of our fosters had any complications from it. Mostly, they would hack and wheeze for a week or two, and then be fine. It's a cold. Once in a while they would put a dog on antibiotics if it looked like it was getting a secondary infection, but that wasn't the norm.
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