British Columbia vets blame COVID-19 pandemic for increased cases of kennel cough in dogs

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The Society of BC Veterinarians has noticed that more dogs are getting kennel cough this year than in previous years, and they believe it could be due to the coronavirus pandemic.One of the directors of the company, Dr Fraser Davidson, said the number of dogs entering vet offices with kennel cough is higher than normal.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many dogs arrive in such a condensed time frame as in the past two weeks,” he said.

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Davidson said the increase could be due to the fact that so many people had “pandemic puppies” earlier this year as people were forced into lockdown and weren’t able to expose them as much to the outside world than they normally would.

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“They would have a much more naive immune system than a dog who has always been exposed to things throughout his life,” he said.

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“People don’t go out and socialize with their dog as much as in previous years, so the dog’s immune system just wasn’t challenged to a lower level like it normally would.

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Davidson says another reason could be that dog rescue groups are importing dogs from different places around the world, bringing in a strain of the virus that local dogs are not used to.

He says kennel cough is extremely contagious between dogs and can be serious in puppies or dogs with weak immune systems.

Her best advice is to keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date.

If you notice your dog is coughing, Davidson says owners should keep him away from other dogs and take them to the vet.

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