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Increases in the number of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD) also known as Kennel Cough cases seen at Green Pastures
CIRD is a respiratory infection caused by a number of bacteria and viruses
It is not usually dangerous and normally clears up without treatment within a few weeks
Apart from your dog coughing, the infection is unlikely to make them feel ill
But puppies, elderly dogs and those with existing medical conditions can be susceptible to complications from kennel cough, such as pneumonia
CIRD has an incubation period of two to 14 days
A kennel cough vaccine is available and is often required for a stay in kennels where the highly-contagious infection can spread easily
How can dogs catch kennel cough?
CIRD is airborne and highly contagious, which is why it can spread through kennels quickly. Your dog does not have to have been to kennels to become infected. It is also transmitted with bacteria on toys, food bowls or other shared objects.
A dog’s respiratory system is designed to protect against the invasion of infection, but certain situations and environments leave them more vulnerable to illness. These include stress caused by crowded environments, exposure to heavy dust or cigarette smoke, cold temperatures and poor ventilation. Kennel cough has an incubation period of two to 14 days, and some dogs can be carriers of the infection for months without developing symptoms.
Is there a treatment for CIRD?
In most cases, dogs will recover from CIRD without treatment within three weeks, but it can sometimes linger for anything up to six weeks. To aid recovery, make sure your home is well ventilated and avoid using a collar and lead, as any pulling might aggravate the wind pipe further – a harness is a better option on walks. Should treatment be given, antibiotics can kill the Bordetella bacteria – the most common present in CIRD cases. Cough suppressants and anti-inflammatories can also be given to make your pet a bit more comfortable as they make a natural recovery.