Leaving your dog behind when you go on vacation is hard, so you do not want the added concern that your pet may get sick while you are away. In an ideal world, you could take your dog with you, but this isn’t always possible. In this situation, The Pet Resort at Stone Ridge  team will take the same care of your pet as you do, and offer you peace of mind. 

Any time pets are in close proximity, the risk of infectious respiratory diseases increases, as in humans. For that reason, being able to recognize the signs of common canine respiratory diseases, and to prevent your dog from infection, Is vital. As pet-boarding experts, we share some tips about protecting your pet from canine influenza virus (CIV) and Bordetella, two of the most common, contagious canine respiratory diseases

Bordetella basics

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacteria that causes kennel cough in dogs. Clinically known as infectious tracheobronchitis, kennel cough causes inflammation of the dog’s trachea and bronchi, resulting in a loud, hacking, recognizable cough, among other signs. 

However, Bordetella is the most common, but not the only, cause of kennel cough in dogs. Other bacteria and viruses, including parainfluenza, can also cause kennel cough, so owners must be able to recognize kennel cough signs in their dogs, including dogs who have been vaccinated.

Canine influenza virus

Canine influenza virus (CIV) is another extremely contagious canine respiratory disease that has only recently been identified in dogs. CIV, which produces signs similar to the flu in people, was first identified in 2004 in Florida, after an equine virus mutated and infected a group of racing greyhounds. The most recent strain was identified in 2015 in birds, and has now been found in dogs in 30 states. Most dogs who come in contact with the virus become ill, which means the spread can be rapid. CIV signs are usually more severe than kennel cough, and the disease can be fatal. 

How are Bordetella and CIV transmitted?

Both Bordetella and CIV are most commonly spread by aerosolized respiratory secretions among dogs in close quarters, but also through nose-to-nose contact and shared bowls and toys, and people. Your dog is therefore most likely to contract these diseases at dog-friendly facilities such as pet stores, boarding kennels, grooming salons, and dog parks, shows, and sporting events. 

Bordetella and CIV signs in dogs

Bordetella and canine influenza have an incubation period between 2 and 14 days, which means that an infected dog can take up to 14 days to show disease signs. Unfortunately, this also means that a dog infected with either disease can appear healthy when they arrive at the boarding or grooming facility, but then become ill during their stay. Both diseases show similar signs. Your dog who has a Bordetella infection will exhibit the tell-tale loud, dry, hacking cough that may resolve in two weeks, or may progress to pneumonia. If your dog has CIV , their signs may also be mild, and they may progress to pneumonia, severe fever, and death. CIV is often confused with Bordetella,  but can be more serious for your pet. Look for these signs:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Lethargy
  • Inappetence
  • Runny eyes
  • Difficulty breathing

In mild cases, treatment should be supportive, including isolating your pet from other animals, monitoring them closely, and providing plenty of rest, good nutrition, and fresh water. If your pet does not get better, hospitalization may be required. 

Prevention: Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate

While never allowing your pet to leave the house may seem like the best prevention, such drastic action is not required, since vaccines are available that will protect your dog from both diseases. Your Pet Resort at Stone Ridge veterinarian will recommend a vaccination schedule based on your individual pet’s overall health and lifestyle. 

Our boarding and grooming facilities require vaccination for Bordetella and CIV before your pet can stay. Of course, we believe your pet should be vaccinated against these diseases for no other reason than their protection. Call us if you have any questions about these diseases, or to schedule an appointment for your pet’s vaccinations. At The Pet Resort at Stone Ridge, we take the safety of your pet and all the pets in our care seriously.