Knowing so many dog owners, breeders and friends with dogs, I can tell you that their is 2 bugs doing the rounds. One is Kennel cough, and the other is a gastric flu. Ive been notified by 2 of our own adult dog owners now of the gastric flu, and 1 case of kennel cough in the London area.
Although their is a kennel cough vaccine, it does not stop your dog catching kennel cough. Why is this you may ask. Well for one its like human colds and flu their are hundreds of strains. Some dog virus are simply airborne, and others are contact caught.
Kennel cough is contagious, and if you own several dogs, it can go through them all, or you can be lucky and only one has it and it goes.
Kennel cough can be described as a hoarse cough, or a phlegm cough. If your dog seems very well thats a good thing. As some dogs just shake it off with in 24 hours. If your dog seems out of sorts or lethargic you must consult a vet quickly for treatment. Some breeds however need more care than others. For example any brachycephalic breed, in other words short muzzle can really be poorly with it. A vet may prescribe anti inflammatory to speed up the relief. Some vets will prescribe anti-biotics immediately and others say wait. You really have to listen to your vet, and if the dog doesn't improve, ring them up again. Dogs can change by the hour. A French bulldog or pug can be so poorly, and some get snot which stops them breathing. Sometimes vets will keep the dogs in hospital to monitor them.
Place in a steamy bathroom and run a hot bath or shower and let the dog smell the steam for a few minutes. It can help shift the phlegm for the dog.
If coughing Benylins cough syrup (non drowsy) has been given to dogs for years. Check with your vet. Often children's syrup is given.
A dog under 12 months should not have honey as their immune system isn't ready for honey yet. But dogs older can have a teaspoon of honey to help with warmed water.
If your dog has snot then get cotton wool and dip into boiled but cooled water, warm is good and gently wipe away the snot. Some dogs even have runny eyes. Use a separate piece of cotton wool for each eye, as not to spread any infections.
As Kennel cough is contagious do not let your dog mix with any other dogs. The guideline is 3 weeks, but usually the dog is no longer contagious once it stops coughing. But think of other dogs because if its passed by contact then your dog can infect others, and it could infect an elderly dog who can not cope with it. Or an ill dog.
Any concerns, ring your vet, do not go on facebook for help, do not ring your breeder for advice, as they are not qualified medical professionals.
This is going around and effecting dogs differently. Some have sickness and high temperature, they will need a vet for anti biotics, anti inflammatory. You will be told to take dog home but ring the next day to update. As some dogs can go down hill very quickly. Usually the injection perks them up immediately. If your dog doesn't improve then the vet will ask to see the dog the following day.
The other one is diarrhoea, and it starts off loose stools going to water. If the dog is well, do not feed the dog. Give the dog a meal off or even 24 hours with no food. Have fresh water available. Ring your vet for advice.
If the vet thinks the dog doesn't need any treatment yet they will tell you. They will take the dogs temperature, and look at vital signs.
If your dog wont drink water, get a teaspoon of water and tip into the mouth to keep dog hydrated. Don't give milk, as some people think milk is a good way of getting a dog to drink. When the dogs got already diarrhoea we don't want to give the dog milk and upset the stomach further. A little honey water, or glucose water can really help. Your vet may prescribe something similar to Dioralyte, to put back salts and sugars lost.
You will be told to start off feeding bland foods. Something like chicken and rice or fish and rice. I would say forget the rice as dogs have a job to digest rice grains. Unless you muller rice the dog wont absorb it. But boiled chicken or boiled white fish is ideal. Then with in 2 days you can go back to the dogs normal diet if the vet says its okay.
Keep your dog warm and out of drafts, if you have another dog separate them. Offer fresh water, do not leave fresh water down. A dog with gastric flu can drink because the water is there and end up with belly ache, and sickness. So offer the water periodically. Take to the toilet often, but do not leave outside in the cold. Do not over heat the dog also, some people wrap animals in so many blankets they get over heated. Leave the dog in an area which you can clean up easily, so if the dog has sickness or diarrhoea its not all over your sofa. Think sensibly. If you have to go to work, find someone who can come and look after the dog for the day. A dog can deteriorate in a few hours and need the vet.
The reality of a dog with diarrhoea and its gone outside. How to clean it? Get a hose or bucket of water and wash the area. Get a bucket of disinfectant something like Anigene, or Virkon S and drown the area to clean as best as you can do. If it is a lot and on concrete or your patio you maybe able to scoop some into a bin bag as disgusting as it is, and then wash thoroughly the area with anigene or virkon s. You need a disinfectant that really kills virus, bacteria etc.
Again gastric flu or gastroenteritis can be air Bourne, but it can be passed by contact, so do not let your dog come into contact with other dogs for a few days, until its very well again.
Follow your vets advice, do not go on face ache and ask for peoples advice who are not medics, and can not see the dog in front of them.
With both kennel cough and gastric flu do not walk your dogs on the day they are ill. A meander around the garden will be enough today!
Mrs Rachel Savage