You may have heard that certain regions in NZ are experiencing particularly high rates of Infectious Canine Cough (Kennel Cough) over the past few months. Infectious Canine Cough is a seasonal issue and this summer it has been particularly prevalent for a number of reasons including environmental factors and the way we are choosing to holiday and move around NZ.

You may have also have seen some media coverage related to a new “Epidemic” strain of Infectious Canine Cough. This isn’t entirely correct as the pathogen indicated has been present in NZ for many years (a bacteria called M. Cynos) however for reasons yet unknown it has been more prevalent this year than in the past (albeit still causing only a very low number of the total number of cases).

It’s important to know the facts so that you can keep your pet safe.

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough is an extremely contagious common condition in dogs. It causes severe coughing, discomfort and can pass from dog to dog with ease.

Kennel cough is not zoonotic, and therefore can not be transferred from animals to humans.

Its generally causes short term illness in dogs and only very rarely leads to serious complications. That said, our furry friends can be pretty miserable for a few days if they contract it.

How do I know my dog has kennel cough?

Common signs of kennel cough include:

  • A hacking cough sometimes described as a ‘goose-honking’ cough
  • Loss of energy or appetite
  • Coughing up fluid or mucus

The hacking cough is one of the most obvious signs, and the sound has been likened to whooping cough in humans. People often mistake this for choking or vomiting. If you notice your dog coughing, please call one of our team on 9 426 9950.

How do I protect my dog?

While there is a vaccination against kennel cough, it does not protect against all the possible bacteria and viruses that form part of this complex disease. The best way to protect your pet is to keep them clear of any other dogs that are showing signs of coughing, and if possible, avoid areas with a high concentration of dogs (such as kennels or popular dog parks).

What do I do if my pet has kennel cough?

If you suspect your dog might have kennel cough, please call our clinic to book in an appointment. Due to how contagious kennel cough is, we ask that you wait in your car with your dog once you have arrived and call our reception team. This will allow us to make sure any vulnerable animals are clear of the waiting room before your dog comes in.