By Ernest Ward, DVM; Updated by Amy Panning, DVM
Infectious Diseases, Medical Conditions, Treatment, Pet Services
Kennel cough is a broad term covering any infectious or contagious condition of dogs where coughing is one of the major clinical signs. It is also referred to as infectious tracheobronchitis. The term tracheobronchitis describes the location of the infection in the trachea or 'windpipe' and bronchial tubes.
"Several viruses and bacteria can cause kennel cough, often at the same time."
Several viruses and bacteria can cause kennel cough, often at the same time. These include adenovirus type-2 (distinct from the adenovirus type 1 that causes infectious hepatitis), parainfluenza virus, canine coronavirus, and the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica.
Because the infection spreads when dogs are housed together, it is often seen soon after dogs have been in kennels, hence the name kennel cough. Because kennel cough can be caused by a number of pathogens, it is often referred to as the Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC).
Clinical signs may be variable. It is often a mild disease, but the cough may be chronic, lasting for several weeks in some cases. Common clinical signs include a loud cough often describe as a 'goose honk', runny eyes and nose, swollen tonsils, wheezing, lack of appetite, and depressed behavior. Most dogs with infectious tracheobronchitis will cough when the throat is rubbed or palpated, or during and after exercise. Often, the hacking cough caused by kennel cough will persist for several weeks after the infection. If your dog has kennel cough it is unlikely that they will lose their appetite or become lethargic.
Kennel cough is very contagious, and dogs can readily transmit it by casual contact such as sniffing each other when on a walk, playing, or sharing water dishes. Certain factors increase the likelihood that your dog may contract kennel cough including stress, cold temperatures, exposure to dust or smoke, and crowded conditions.
There is no specific treatment for the viral infections, but many of the more severe signs are due to bacterial involvement, particularly Bordetella bronchiseptica. Antibiotics are useful against this bacterium.
"...most infections resolve within one to three weeks."
Some cases require prolonged treatment, but most infections resolve within one to three weeks. Mild clinical signs may linger for several weeks even when the bacteria have been eliminated. Cough suppressants and anti-inflammatory medications may provide relief in some cases. Your veterinarian will help you determine what methods of treatment are best for your dog.
Most vaccination programs your veterinarian will recommend include adenovirus and parainfluenza. Bordetellavaccination is also highly recommended for dogs that are boarded, groomed, or interact with other dogs in areas such as dog parks.
"Immunity, even if the dog has experienced a natural infection, is neither solid nor long-lasting."
Immunity, even if the dog has experienced a natural infection, is neither solid nor long-lasting. We cannot expect vaccines to do much better. Since immunity varies with the circumstances, consult with your veterinarian regarding specific vaccination recommendations for your pet. Some kennel facilities require a booster vaccination shortly before boarding and some veterinarians recommend a booster vaccine every six months to ensure maximum protection against this troublesome infection.
Bordetella vaccination is given either by injection, oral or intra-nasal route. Intra-nasal refers to the liquid vaccine administered as nose drops. The oral vaccine is administered directly into the cheek pouch. This allows local immunity to develop on the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and windpipe where the infectious agents first attack and provides more rapid protection against infection than the injectable vaccine.
Contributors: Ernest Ward, DVM; Updated by Amy Panning, DVM
KNOTTY Paws LLC
Does require Rabies up to date for all
If the Pet coming in for grooming stays all day,
We leave Bordetella up to the owner.
All shots MUST be up to date
The following is a letter written by a fellow peer in the grooming industry. We thought it was so well written and we stand behind the info in this letter and couldn't have written it better ourselves. We have included a collage of a Doodle groomed in our salon. This particular dog was shaved short due to her coat being one solid pelt.
An Open Letter to Doodle Owners
There’s a conversation going on in the grooming world, and it’s one that I think our clients should be privy to. The topic? Doodles. And I’m talking labradoodles, goldendoodles, sheepadoodles, bernedoodles – anything that has been mixed with a standard (sometimes mini) poodle or already existing doodle. The truth is, the popularity of these dogs is on the rise but the education that potential owners are getting regarding them is dropping. This can be attributed to a few factors, ranging from a breeder spreading lies to sell a puppy, to a family so entranced by the cuteness of a fluffy puppy that they overlook the potential high maintenance of what they’re getting into.
So what I want to do is address these issues, include these owners in the conversation that’s happening in grooming salons all over the globe because as groomers we are frustrated! We are frustrated because so often we have to shave doodles due to matting, and those owners are frustrated because they don’t know what they’re doing wrong and like their dogs fluffy, and in turn get upset with the groomers, who are upset with the breeders for not giving out proper information to the owners when they take home a puppy! This can really hurt the rapport between a groomer and their clients, something we’d all like to avoid.
The BIG untruth I’d like to address about these dogs is that they are low maintenance. This could not be further from the truth. If you are getting a doodle, you need to expect and prepare for daily home maintenance. This includes brushing AND combing, everyday. (With a slicker brush and metal greyhound comb). The end result should be the ability to get the comb from the root to tip of the hair. You always want to start with the slicker brush, as this will help break up any knots, and finish with the comb. Now, because doodles are not purebred (meaning they do not breed true, which is the characteristic of being able to predict and expect how the puppies will turn out) you may end up with a doodle that has a very thin and easily manageable coat, but you should always go in expecting the alternative. With all that being said, and this may seem counterintuitive, but what this routine should NOT include is baths at home. Without the proper tools, baths at home will only cause and expedite matting. Long coats need to be blow dried completely, and if they are towel dried and left to air dry and not brushed out, they will mat up. I will attach some pictures to show some examples of matting, because when you don’t use a comb and go all the way from the root to the tip, the top coat may seem mat-free while the root of the coat is completely matted.
In addition to this point, if you want your doodle to have that well-known long and fluffy coat, they should be at the groomer every 4-6 weeks. This is in addition to the daily home maintenance. Bringing them to the groomer will ensure that they are clean and thoroughly brushed/combed. You can get them full haircuts or just trim ups – the possibilities are many if the coat is well-maintained. The cost of grooming a doodle is not small. That’s the plain and simple truth of it. Doodle baths/grooms can range anywhere from $50 to upwards of $200. There are many things that are factored into this price. The type of coat the dog has, the condition of the coat, his/her behavior during grooming, and the time spent on the service. Many groomers have a base price for the breed, but this price will increase based on all of these factors.
The last thing I want to address is when breeders say that doodles should not/do not need to be groomed before they are a year old. When this happens, their first groom is almost always a shavedown, right to the skin. Introducing grooming at an early age is imperative! Most groomers will have a puppy special of some sort, which is offered as early as 8 weeks. This will typically include nail clipping, ear cleaning, a bath, and a trim around their face, paws, and potty areas. If you don’t want your puppy to have a full haircut, you don’t have to! But you will still need to bring them in every 4-6 weeks both to get them acclimated to the grooming process and to keep them in the best shape possible. Their coat changes around six months of age and transitions from light, fluffy puppy hair to their adult coats. Their adult coats can have a variety of thicknesses and textures, but this transition can often lead to matting which is another reason to establish a regular home grooming routine and to be in to see your groomer every 4-6 weeks.
The last thing a groomer wants to do is disappoint their client, we want you to love the work we do as much as we love it! That is why it is crucial to be fully educated about the maintenance of the puppy you are getting, to find a groomer with great reviews and have a conversation with them, learn from them, and take your pooch to see them often!
Attached you will see a variety of pictures, volunteered from my peers around the country, demonstrating different types of matting. Many of them don’t look matted in the before pictures, but as you can see, their coats come off in complete sheets. It is DIRE to add that when dogs are in this shape it is EXTREMELY painful for them. Quite often underneath the matting we find bruising, hematomas, skin infections, etc. There is no option other than shaving to the skin in those cases. Please note that this is fully avoidable with proper and regular maintenance!
I have also added pictures of a few of my doodles clients in longer coats, so you can see the other side of things.
*****Please note! I am in no way saying that you must or should keep your dogs in longer lengths. If your dog is active or you prefer them short for easy maintenance, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! I am just trying to avoid any animal from becoming so matted that they face severe skin problems and injuries. And trying to prevent heartbroken or angry owners from vilifying their groomer for shaving what can only be shaved.
*** This information is not isolated to doodles! Any dog with a longer coat needs regular maintenance! Dogs with shorter coats that shed need maintenance! All dogs need their nails clipped/filed. Every breed and every dog has its own requirements, so please, do your research!***
Seasonal Spaw Package Comes with Scented Shampoo, matching fragrance, soothing skin and coat conditioner, teeth brushing, and a season collar charm. can be added to any bath/grooming service for a additional $20.00