Kennel Cough

IMG_1078gandyHarness480…and sneeze and gag and wheeze. (No cough, actually, but this is as close as I can come to a name for this situation.)

Whatever it is, the dog had it when we picked her up from the vet’s office Saturday. I fault them for not mentioning–maybe not even noticing, especially since my guess is that Gandy is not the only dog in the facility with an infection coming out that they did not have going in.

Granted, one risks a “day care” infection, and the vaccines for the offending organisms are not inclusive of all potential pathogens. This does not make you any happier to bring little Johnnie home with the snots that he didn’t have before. At least these dog respiratory illnesses are not transmissible to people. They say.

The dog spent a restless night (with all that that implies for her helpless human companions) and around midnight, was struggling to breathe so I thought we might have an emergent situation on our hands. Shades of Tsuga’s rush to the vet ER and that tragic ending.

So be sure I will be speaking to the vet as soon as the place opens to ascertain what this condition is, how my dog came to acquire it, and what can be done to fix it this time and do a better job of prevention–and at least surveillance of animals on hand at the time of an outbreak.

I rather imagine this will change whatever plans we had made for our day.

Considering what we pay per night of boarding, I had hoped for better than this. I guess it is not noticing or not mentioning the very obvious condition  before we brought the dog home that bothers me most.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Are there any alternatives to boarding? Friends who might take care of her while you’re gone? Neighbors? I don’t have a dog, so I don’t know the issues involved, but it seems to me that there is a “Sustain Floyd” answer there, somewhere. You know, local and decentralized and all that kind of thing …

  2. You have every right to be upset. What’s more, the vet needs to take responsibility for the establishment’s lack of same. At the very least Gandy should get treated at no charge to you.

  3. Fred, I assume Gandy was immunized against Kennel Cough, which is a requirement here for all boarding facilities. Next time you have to board her, you might look into I haven’t had a chance to try it, but there are some good people in our neighborhood who are participating.

  4. You discretely didn’t mention where Gandy was boarded, and I won’t ask. I always board my dogs at Riner Veterinary Clinic — better price per day, for one thing. However, the two local kennels where I’ve boarded my dogs over the years (Riner and the kennel on Rt. 8 in Floyd) require the Kennel Cough vaccine. Odd that Gandy picked it up at a kennel but, as you said, “vaccines for the offending organisms are not inclusive of all potential pathogens.” Still, it seems that the Kennel Cough vaccine should prevent that particular medical condition.