886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Understanding Kennel Cough


Kennel Cough

You may not have heard of Bordetella, but there’s a good chance you have heard of kennel cough. Both refer to an extremely contagious illness that dogs and cats can transmit to each other at boarding kennels, dog parks, or any other place where animals are in close quarters. Your pet can also pick it up through contact with sneeze droplets, saliva, or other types of discharge from another infected animal.

A bacterium called Bordetella Bronchoseptica combined with the canine parainfluenza virus are the primary causes of illness in dogs. When only one of these factors causes symptoms, veterinarians refer to it as Bordetellosis.
How to Recognize Kennel Cough
The first thing you’re likely to notice in your dog is a dry, hacking cough. It might sound like he just has something stuck in his throat at first. The cough is caused by micro-organisms attached to your dog or cat’s respiratory cells. With cats, the earliest and most common symptoms of Bordetella are sneezing and nasal discharge. The virus weakens your pet’s immune system so he can’t fight off the effects of Bordetella. A prolonged, untreated case can cause significant respiratory distress for both cats and dogs.
It typically takes two to 14 days for dogs and cats to develop and display symptoms of Bordetella. The virus can remain in their body for up to three weeks. As mentioned above, it can spread quickly among unvaccinated pets in places like boarding kennels. For this reason, professional boarding facilities require proof of Bordetella vaccination. We encourage you to make sure your pet’s vaccines are up-to-date before boarding or going to the dog park.
Treating the Bordetella Virus
Uncomplicated cases of kennel cough normally revolve on their own within about two weeks, much like the common cold in people. Although we don’t normally prescribe antibiotics at this stage, we may be able to provide an over-the-counter medication to help your pet feel more comfortable.
Dogs and cats can develop bronchitis or pneumonia when they acquire a serious case of Bordetella. The best treatment at this point is an antibiotic or a bronchodilator. You should monitor your pet closely during treatment and contact us immediately is she seems worse or develops any new complications. If your pet has regular contact with other pets in a small or enclosed space, please speak to our staff about the most appropriate Bordetella vaccine schedule.
Photo Credit: igorr1 / Getty Images

In Defense of Animals Sponsors Responsible Animal Guardian Month Every May

Animal Guardian Month
Several years ago, the organization In Defense of Animals (IDA) started the Responsible Animal Guardian campaign to encourage more respectful treatment of animals. This awareness campaign takes place the entire month of May every year. According to its website, the mission statement of the Guardian Campaign is to “bring about a more just, humane world by modeling responsible, caring, and respectful language and behavior towards the animals and people we encounter at home, in school, and in our community.”

How You Can Apply These Principals to Your Own Pet
Pets have the highest quality of life when their family cares for their whole being. This include tending to their physical, cognitive, and emotional health. IDA states that people who consider themselves their pet’s guardian rather than owner tend to have a deeper bond with the animal. Being a responsible animal guardian encompasses many things, including:
Spaying or neutering to prevent roaming behavior and overpopulation
Providing fresh water, nutritious food, and giving treats sparingly
Using positive reinforcement to bring about behavior change rather than punishing a pet who is still learning
Removing hazards from your home and yard that could cause illness or injury
Setting aside time each day to pet, talk to, and play with your dog or cat
Ensuring that your pet gets plenty of exercise and the chance to socialize if he has an outgoing personality
Besides encouraging a language change and for people to be more responsible towards animals, IDA also hopes to encourage pet adoption. Rather than buy a dog, cat, or other type of animal from a pet store or breeder, consider adopting one from an animal shelter instead. You will save a life by giving a deserving animal a second chance to have a loving family.
Don’t Forget to Schedule Check-Ups for Your Pet
Preventive care exams are just as important for pets as they are for people. We encourage you to schedule an annual check-up if your companion animal is between one and seven years old. Puppies, kittens, middle-aged pets, and senior pets need preventive care more often. It’s not too late to start a preventive care routine with your pet if you normally only bring her in when sick or injured.
Please contact Grantsburg Animal Hospital at 715-463-2536 or Wild River Veterinary Clinic at 320-629-7474 to request an appointment. If you’re out of the local area code, you can reach both clinics by calling 1-800-924-0588.