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New strain of "kennel cough" - Ottawa Outbreak!

September 24th, 2005, 07:01 PM
I know that "kennel cough" is not the proper scientific name of the illness but I figured that "kennel cough" is more widely known and would take up less space as a title!
But for those that know - its real name is bordatella bronchiseptica!

I just want to let as many people know as possible: there seems to be a new strain of this illness going around. The bordatella vaccine does NOT protect you dog from this new strain!!

It seems that this new strain does not effect the chest/lungs and instead concentrates itself in the throat. However, the symptoms like the deep cough/hacking and vomiting of white fluid seem to be the same.

There has been an outbreak in Ottawa and my clinic has signs posted that the majority of dogs affected are coming from Conroy Pit Dog Park.

Dodger and one of his doggy friend's are sick with this new strain. Dodger's friend is on clavamox (antibiotic) and pain killers - it was a $200 vet bill in Hull which means in Ottawa it will be more expensive. Although he has improved greatly, when he exerts himself he starts hacking again.
Dodger is less fortunate and is not able to keep anything down; he is being treated with homeopathic meds at the moment. Dodger got VERY sick VERY quickly. He didn't show any signs until he exerted himself midday which resulted in coughing and vomiting.

I am not sure if its the same thing posted here or not:

I hope nobody else has to deal with this! :sad:


September 24th, 2005, 07:15 PM
Just too let you know that this has been in Toronto too.

Bentley was very sick just over 1.5 weeks ago. He too could not keep anything down (incl Meds) so we had 3 trips to the Vet in 48 hours. He had to have injections to ease the cough so that he could at least start keeping his meds and some water down.

The first 2 nights were tough, he was coughing and getting sick every 20 minutes. He was exhausted. It took just under 2 weeks before he could run around with out coughing.

Hope there are not too many more cases out there.

September 24th, 2005, 07:17 PM
Jeez, I can't believe that there hasn't been anything in the news, at the clinic etc...

Nobody has even posted a sign about this at Conroy so I plan on printing one out and putting it up tomorrow morning.

September 24th, 2005, 07:19 PM
Thanks for reporting this. Our Beagle had severe Kennel Cough in 1976 when we lived in Ottawa when there was no vaccine or really any meds to treat it -not something I care to relive. I will ask at vet's next week if clinic has had any patients with this strain. My Eskie is due for his next Kennel Cough vaccine in January. One of the associate vets has just left the practice to return to school to take advanced courses in viruses. Probably a good idea.

September 24th, 2005, 07:22 PM
There are usually several strains of bordatella(kennel cough) that are not covered by the vaccine.
I hadn't heard of this one. How are the dogs recovering? We have a lot of greyhounds come to the area for adoption.

September 24th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Signs were posted at a dog park in Mississauga where there were a few cases. My vet said that she has seen a few cases the past month and that it is really strange for this type of year.

Bentley was on antibiotics and prescription cough tablets. He also had a runny nose.

Strangley enough I developed a really bad cough too, not sure if this strain is at all contagious to humans. I am not a person who gets sick (last cold was 2 years ago), i did some searches on the net and some recent studies have shown that some cases of Kennel Cough have made humans ill too.

So if your babies get sick, take care of yourself too.

September 24th, 2005, 07:34 PM
It is usually january when I hear about cases.

September 24th, 2005, 07:37 PM
Dodger's friend got sick on Tuesday night, vomited a little but coughed a lot. He is so much better now and her vet said he should be okay to interact with other dogs in another week or so.

Apparently, it can take upt 7-10 days for the effects to show up so our whole group is really worried about their dogs. So far the 4 other dogs are okay though.

Dodger coughed 3 times yesterday but it was NOT the deep cough that his buddy had. I thought nothing of it - I should have picked up something today when he wasn't interested in running around. I didn't put things together until I got home and he was still vomiting a white fluid. So long as he stays stationary, he rarely coughs but as soon as he moves, the hacking and vomiting starts up again. I hate seeing him like this!

September 24th, 2005, 07:55 PM
Lissa sounds like your guy is lucky. Bentley would be asleep and start coughing. He did not have the energy to move and eventually would just lay on his bed coughing. I would sit with him and hold paper towel under his chin so he could get sick on it. Needless to say I had very little sleep for a few days, specially when this was happening every 20 minutes.

When we went back to the vet for the injection, I was in tears. His ears were pulled back and he looked so tired. He just could not stop coughing and getting sick.

Thank goodness he is better. I hope your guy gets better soon.

September 24th, 2005, 08:06 PM
Wow, it does sound like Bentley had a really bad case. I hope Dodger can keep something down tomorrow...and I REALLY hope he doesn't get as bad as Bentley :sad: ! Our poor dogs!

I am so glad that Bentley is better. Is he okay to be around other dogs now? Did your vet mention whether he has built antibodies or is he at risk of getting it again??

September 24th, 2005, 08:18 PM
Bentley got the all clear for contact, so he has been back to day care and the dog park, but we are still taking it slow.

The vet said that he should build up the antibodies, but because this strain has been so bad and so uncommon for this time of year, it is a bit unexplained. She said some dogs are more susceptible to it than others, so she suggested maybe getting him vaccinated every 6 months instead of every 12. We will see how it goes, i would rather he build up naturally rather than vaccines all the time.

September 25th, 2005, 10:06 AM
Well that's good to know, I hope Dodger builds up some antibodies!

He was doing a bit better this morning when he showed some "big" interest in food and a toy for a few minutes. But he's back to lying listlessy until the hacking starts up again.

He stil vomits every 2 hours like clockwork but is mostly keeping the wet food down - its a white fluid that comes up. Is that what happened to Bentley?

I'm worried about going back to the dog park after this...I feel like I'm putting him at an unnecessary risk - but he loves it there so much. It's a really tough call.


September 25th, 2005, 10:14 AM
Conroy pit has always been a bad place for contracting kennel cough. I hear more cases coming from there than anywhere else.

September 26th, 2005, 10:04 AM
Just to add, about six dogs in our park have come down with it too with a seventh to be confirmed. My Pippi was number three and Max quickly followed. Same symptoms. Max seems to be fighting it well, has minimal coughing, almost no phlegm vomited up and very little nasal discharge. As well, he hadn't shown any behavioural changes until this morning (day 5 for him) when he didn't quite finish his breakfast. Still, he ate most of it. Pippi unfortunately is suffering a lot more and the cough isn't getting better as yet (day 7 for her). She generally sleeps fine until about three a.m. at which point she is overcome by phlegm and coughs regularly until we get up. Mornings are much worse than evenings for her. She is still eating although she skips her morning meal most days (I am guessing from throat irritation). They are both taking their amoxicillin and keeping it down, they are both drinking and alert on our short walks so I am confident they are okay for now. On the recommendation of our vet I have been squirting a little children's cough suppressant into her mouth at night to give her some relief. She is not impressed.


September 26th, 2005, 10:22 AM
Where is your park?
With kennel cough the symptoms start to show up 4 days later. As for this new strain I don't know.

September 26th, 2005, 10:31 AM
Maximellion: thank-you for sharing your experience with this form of "kennel cough". I really appreciate it because it is making me think of some questions I want to ask my vet.

Out of the group of dogs that Dodger walks with in the morning, only 1 has yet to catch it.

Unfortunately for Dodger, he seems to be suffering the most. While his other friends are eating and acting normally, all Dodger does is sleep, cough and vomit. We haven't gone for a walk in over 48 hours...thankfully he is keeping small amounts of wet food down.

Neither one of us have slept much...I'm so glad that I don't have classes until Wednesday.

I am taking him in tonight to get some non-homeopathic medicine...I was hoping to avoid it but he's just not getting better.

September 26th, 2005, 10:43 AM
No problem. I wanted to let you know that Pippi was vomiting up the mucus too for a while. She stopped after the first couple of days. She didn't vomit up any food with it. Make sure Dodger is getting the antibiotics down because, while it won't cure kennel cough, if he is still so mucusy there is always a danger of pneumonia and the antibiotics should help prevent that. Have you taken him back to the vet to have them listen to his chest since the listlessness started?


September 26th, 2005, 11:26 AM
Mozart was sick about 3 weeks ago, vomiting and diarrhea. The coughing had started at about the same time. Then the fleas, then the coughing got worst.

But over the last week it has gotten much worse. Constant hacking, coughing. I didn't know what was going on until last night, it worried me so much (kept me up all night) that I got a fit in with my vet, at the Blair Animal Hospital. It cost about $100 for the check up and meds. Doctor confirmed it and was telling me that the outbreak was outrageous this year.

Moe is on Clavamox 62.5mg twice a day for 10 days and on Prednisone 5mg 1/4 tab twice a day for 3 days, then once every 24 hours for 3 days and once every 48 hours for 3 days.

He is rarely in contact w/ any dogs but doc said that some pets having had it before are now only a virus carrier, doesn't mean they'll get it again but will carry the bug (he compared it to mono, you'll have it bad once and after that you always have the bug in you) he may have caught it from walking him and talking two mins to another dog owner kinda thing.

Poor Moe's been through so much in the last month. I hope he gets a break soon!

September 26th, 2005, 12:20 PM
Maximellion - no I didn't take Dodger to the vet when he got listless, this has all happened it about 72 hours. I am going again tonight and I'll probably be a basket case by the time I get there!

Dodger just vomited up all the food he manged to eat this morning, which hadn't happened before.

Also, I just got word that all of Dodger's doggy friends (6 of them) do have this illness :sad: !

My friend's vet told her that when the antibiotics kick in (about 2 days) the dogs can start playing with each other again - which seems very soon to me! I mean, Dodger hasn't done anything since Saturday and I can't see him feeling that much better so soon!

Also, from the people I have spoken to, the vet's are prescribing different things - which I find confusing! There seems to be a variety of meds being prescribed: at least 3 different antibiotics, pain killers and cough medicine is what has been prescribed among our group of dogs.

Melz - I am so sorry about Mozart, that is a long time to be sick! Please keep us updated!

September 26th, 2005, 12:31 PM
Pippi has been on the antibiotics since Thursday and they aren't working any miracles with her which may be a good thing - confirms it is still viral and hasn't moved to pneumonia hopefully. Was your friend's vet talking about playing with non-infected dogs after two days or with other infected dogs (ie. your playgroup)? My understanding about kennel cough quarantine and I confirmed this with my vet is that it is about 5-7 days after the dog stops coughing.


September 26th, 2005, 12:41 PM
Maximellion: Yes, the vet was referring to our whole infected group of dogs! But she didn't mention about the 5-7 days quarantine though (I hope that most vet's don't forget to mention this!).

I figured that there would be a quarantine period but it sounds like this is something that the dogs could carry and pass around after their better :confused: ?

My friend also mentioned that this seems to be airborne, so avoiding close contact isn't going to help. Apparently, we can even carry it on our clothes and make other dogs sick :confused: ?? Has anyone else heard that?

Dodger hasn't been confined to one area of the house and he has been sick almost everywhere. So it sounds like I am going to need to do a very LARGE clean-up when he's better. The floors, his bed, my bed, furniture, pillows, blankets, towels, toys, leashes and collars, the car not to mention all of my clothes!! It's gonna take me days to have everything clean!!!

September 26th, 2005, 12:44 PM
I believe that time starts after all the symptoms are gone.

September 26th, 2005, 01:05 PM
I think the issue is you can't be sure when the dog is truly finished with the cold (they certainly can't tell you) so just because the visible/audible symptoms are gone doesn't mean they aren't still sick. As to the "airborne" vs. not and the people bringing it home, I know that there is a lot of talk about it being this "dog flu" showing up in kennels and racetracks in the states. There isn't any reason to believe this isn't ordinary kennel cough though - it is also quite contagious and shows the same symptoms. I don't think we are going to know for sure what they have, how they got it, how they can pass it on etc. but I figure I will take basic measures until I am sure - like abiding by the extended quarantine period (I don't know that this would apply to groups of dogs who all had it though since theoretically they should all be immune to further infection) and washing the towel, sheets and bedding, cleaning up the mucus spit ups (I was even outside spraying antibacterial stuff on the areas where they vomited on the street). I can't keep my dog confined to my property unfortunately since I don't have a yard but I stick to the streets and cross the street to avoid contact with other dogs. I'm doing my best and hopefully we won't be the cause of more dogs getting it.


September 26th, 2005, 01:15 PM
Awww... Poor doggies! I hope all these Ottawa doggies get better. I hope this strain doesn't go anywhere else... :fingerscr

September 26th, 2005, 01:17 PM
Apparently from the posts it is already everywhere else.

September 26th, 2005, 01:20 PM
Really? I saw Toronto, but where else?

September 26th, 2005, 02:21 PM just reported that this is an ongoing outbreak of canine influenza and has begun to spread more rapidly within the US (and presumably Canada). The full article is at the following link:

Please pass this information along to anyone you know that has a dog, whether or not they go to dog park or kennel or any other public place where this could be transmitted :pawprint:

Hugs and Wags to all :)

September 26th, 2005, 04:33 PM
For any pet that has this, something that is very effective is colloidal silver. Super Silver Solution is one brand that is safe for pets. I don't know about the others, they may be. The manufacturers of SSS say theirs is safe for pets. There are studies, etc on its effectiveness. It works for the most serious bacterial and viral infections and works well with other medications. Two teaspoons three times a day for ten days for a pet who is the weight of a cat. Adjust accordingly for a dog. Grapefruit seed extract is also highly effective. Health food stores should have both.

September 27th, 2005, 09:45 AM
Any other news on this? Someone mentioned that the bordertella vaccine doesn't help with this particular breakout. Why is that?

Mozart is due for his shots in october. Lepto (i think that's what its called) and i was thinking of adding the bordertella one to it as well just to be safe this winter.

September 27th, 2005, 10:02 AM
Any other news on this? Someone mentioned that the bordertella vaccine doesn't help with this particular breakout. Why is that?

Mozart is due for his shots in october. Lepto (i think that's what its called) and i was thinking of adding the bordertella one to it as well just to be safe this winter.

The kennel cough vacccine doesn't protect against every possible strain - there are many different strains of "kennel cough". It's like getting a flu shot for yourself, it doesn't garentee you won't get sick - you could still get a sinus infection, a run of the mill cold, a stomach-bug, etc...

my pup got his kennel cough vac (nasal) 2 wks prior to starting daycare - he went to daycare for 1 day, and a week later, he had a case of kennel cough. thankfully it was nothing too serious, but went on antibiotics to prevent any infection.

September 27th, 2005, 01:25 PM
Lissa, if you read this let me know how your vet visit went.


September 27th, 2005, 05:42 PM
Maximellion, thank-you so much for your concern... :love: it is so nice of you!!

The vet visit didn't go well because the vet was too busy to see us! This guy is not our usualy vet and I think he specializes in exotic pets...apparently he was in surgry with another vet and nobody could see us. We waited for about 45 minutes and then the assitant said that Dodger and I would have to wait until he finished with the appointment that was booked after us :mad: !

That is exactly why I have been looking for another vet! Anyway, I wasn't about to wait any longer - we'd been waiting in the car because I didn't want Dodger to pass on the virus to the healthy dogs! I was fuming - which is why I didn't post right away because I was seeing spots!!

Anyway, the good news is that the homeopathic meds that I have been giving Dodger have finally kicked in! At the vet's I was too angry to realize that Dodger hadn't vomited or coughed the whole time we waited! I dropped Dodger off with my Mum and went to get him some wet food (the only thing he could keep down). I was gone for 2 hours and to my amazement, when I got back my Mum was playing with him :D ! Apparently, he also ate some dry food and a couple of carrots while I was gone - all without coughing or vomiting :thumbs up . He was so much better that my Mum thought I was lying about how bad he was :rolleyes: !

Today, he has been amazing. Just a few insignificant coughs and absolutely NO vomiting! So in the end I am happy that the vet couldn't see us as I had concerns about him being on clavamox again.

I will keep a close watch on Dodger and my plan is to take him to a NEW vet within a week or so. I will watch that it doesn't turn into pneumonia...I bought a magazine that ironically had an article about treating kennel cough the homeopathic way. It said what I think you said, that the antibiotics only prevent it from becoming pneumonia and does nothing for the kennel cough - the cough goes away on its own, not because of the antibiotics...

How are your dogs doing? I hope Pippi is doing much better! It sounded like Max was fighting it pretty well, is he all better?

September 28th, 2005, 11:43 AM
Actually, not much improvement. I am going to call our vet to follow up (we were there about a week ago). Pippi and Max are both alert, drinking and eating but Pippi's runny nose and cough are not subsiding at all and Max is still huffing a little too with a slight runny nose although not nearly as badly as Pippi. I know kennel cough can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks but I want them to feel better dam*it!

I'm very glad that Dodger is feeling better though! Can you tell me what you are giving Dodger vis a vis homeopathic treatment? I need to do something productive here.


September 28th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Sure...Dodger is on the coltsfoot herb (which is hard on the liver so they shouldn't be on it for more than 2 weeks); bryonia alba (pellets - 2 a day but he was getting 3 a day the first 48 hours); and a "respiratory support" herbal tincture (twice a day). I also bought drosera (pellets) in case the bryonia didn't work. When he was really bad, I was giving him extra echinacea.

In this month's dog fancy magazine, there is also a herbal tincture for kennel cough; made up of equal parts of elderberry, echinacea and stilligia. I have not tried this one but it worked on her dogs in 2-3 days. For this tincture the instructions are: 1/2tsp 3 times a day up to 10 days.

Homeopathy shouldn't be used if your dog's are already on something your vet prescribed. Also, they should be tried one at a time, so you know which one is working.

Dodger has coughed a bit more than yesterday but absolutely no vomiting! His energy level yesterday was amazing but he's quieter today, so I have no plans of taking him off the homeopathic meds for now. I am going to keep him on it until Saturday and then decide if he's ready to come off.

You should be able to find this stuff at homeopathic health food stores! :)

I'm sorry to hear that they are still coughing after a week of rest and medicine. But at least they are smart enough to keep drinking and eating so that they have the strength to get better. It's probably a good idea to go for a follow up seeing as there is the "deadly flu" going around too. I'm thinking about buying a thermometer, so I have a better chance of noticing any changes for the worse!