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Kennel cough and Spot!

Kennel cough has found its way into your neighbourhood. This raises a lot of questions about you and poor spot. Well, I am here to help answer some of those questions today!

What is Kennel Cough?

Well kennel cough, aka Bordetella, is a bacterial pathogen that can lead to respiratory disease in our canine friends. It is very easily spread throughout communities in places such as daycares, kennels, dog parks, and any other way dogs can touch noses. This is because it is airborne.

How do I know if I should bring my dog in?

If you notice your dog coughing/hacking, has discharge from their eyes or nose, is acting lethargic, or you’re noticing a lack of appetite. These are signs you should get your best friend to the vet. However if you notice the discharge is greenish in colour, they are extremely lethargic and not wanting to move, have an increased respiratory effort and have a “wet” cough you should definitely get seen sooner as these are more serious and emergent cases.

Can I prevent Kennel Cough in my dog?

Unfortunately, you can not prevent this but, there are ways to help distance the spread and lessen the symptoms. The first thing you may want to do is vaccinate for kennel cough. This does not prevent it but, it will help protect from some strains of Bordetella (kennel cough) and will help reduce symptoms to be milder. Puppies can be vaccinated as early as 8 weeks if using the oral vaccine. However, the vaccine can take 3-5 days to work. If you find kennel cough in your neighbourhood, make sure to watch your surroundings. Don’t interact with unknown dogs and keep your fur baby home from daycares and kennels until the outbreak is calmed down.

Oh no! Spot has kennel cough! Now what?

As unfortunate as this is don’t panic just yet. Make sure to go to the vet and get checked out so you can receive the proper medications to feel better if they are required. Stay away from any other dogs for 2 weeks after symptoms are completely resolved and follow the steps for helping prevent kennel cough above. Do not get vaccinated for kennel cough while spot has it. Wait until after you have been cleared to go out and do things again.

When should I not vaccinate for this?

If spot is already on antibiotics for something else you will want to wait to get this vaccine until those are completely done and out of the system. This is not because it is harmful, but due to the fact that giving it at this time will render the vaccine useless and it will do its job to protect your best friend. As well you will not want to get this vaccine if spot is already coughing or having respiratory issues, is immunocompromised, has previously had a vaccine reaction or anyone being referred for serious illness diagnosis or management.

 

References
Veterinary Partner: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951478
Davies: http://davies.campaignworks.biz/fact-sheets-post/kennel-cough-information-for-referring-vets-fact-sheet/

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How to make medication request hassle-free!

Getting your requests to your veterinarian can be quite a process, especially when you are uncertain about the necessary information we need to fulfill the request. Let’s take this opportunity to review the information required and help you understand why it's helpful in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience. What do I need to know before I make a prescription request?   There are 5 important pieces of information you'll need to have ready to relay to your veterinary team when requesting a prescription. Medication name Medication concentration Medication dose Medication instructions Quantity you need Let me explain what each one is and why we need it. This information can all be found on your pet's medication label.  Medication Name – This is simple enough; it is the name of your medication, and yes, it is very important. If you call and say you want to refill Fluffy’s eye medication, this won’t help us if they are on 3 different eye medications. Knowing the name of your pet’s medication can be the difference between the correct refill and the wrong refill. Medication Concentration – All medications come in many concentrations, and we want to ensure that your pet gets the correct one to avoid the risk of over- or under-dosing. The concentration is either written as milligrams, mg/mL or a percentage. Pills and tablets can be things like 2.5mg, 10mg, etc. Liquids will be in forms such as 20mg per ml, 200mg/ml, etc., and other medications, such as eye ointments, may say something like 2%. Medication Dose – The dose indicates how much of the medication your pet should be given and how often—for example, 1 tablet every 12 hours or a 1/4″ strip 3 times a day. Medication Instructions – We don't have the exact wording of your label, but we need to know how you are giving the medication currently. This may sound something like I give 1 pill in the morning and 2 pills in the evening or I give 3 units every 12 hours, etc. If what you are giving is different from what is on your medication label, then tell us what you are currently giving and why. It is not recommended to change medication instructions without speaking to your veterinarian.   Quantity You Need – To ensure you have the supply uu need and avoid multiple trips, please be sure to know what amount(s) of your pet's medication(s) you need. This may be given as a number amount, such as 30 pills or the length of time the medication needs to last,  such as 30 days worth. If you tell us 1 bottle, it doesn't necessarily help us as many medications come in multiple-sized bottles. TIP: Create a folder in your phone’s photo album called Medications, take pictures of your pet’s medication labels, and place them in there for quick access!   Keep in mind that your veterinarian pharmacy, like all other pharmacies, will need time to fill your medication. We kindly ask that you give us 24-48 hours' notice for filling medications as our veterinary staff are very busy and may not always have time to fill medications same-day. TIP: If you are like me and have trouble remembering to get medications refilled on time until you use the last one, there's an APP for that!   If it's a regular medication - there is an app called medisafe that lets you track medications and can be used for pet medications as well. You can set custom notifications to remind you when to refill your medication, such as when you have 5 pills left. If the medication is your pet’s flea and tick medication, check out the app "Flea & Tick"  (iPhone) (Android). This app allows you to track when you last gave your pet their last dose and upload a photo of your medication so you always have what it is at your fingertips. Lastly, look for things your clinic may have, such as QR codes on your medication bottles to help remind you to refill when you run low or website pages like ours (Pharmacy Requests) to make it easier for you to request your medication. Stayed tuned for Part 2.   Written by: Ashely G, VT

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