Denise  |  Sep 23, 2011  |  Yap Around Town

Client Alert: Virulent Respiratory Illness In The Area

Several of our veterinary partners have informed us that a very virulent strain of Upper Respiratory Infection (sometimes known as 'kennel cough) is going around in Washington State. We want all our clients to have a heads up on this.

Some theorize that a local animal shelter down south may be a starting point for it; hard to say for sure. Many veterinary clinics up and down the I-90 corridor are seeing a lot of cases. Several of our clients, many of whom frequent dog parks on the weekends, have noticed their pets sneezing, and kept them home this week. We have sent some pets home after noticing coughing symptoms. And we have handler friends who are also reporting that something similar is going around the showgrounds as far south as California.

Most of the dogs seem to get over it within a few days, but some have had it a week. Our own staff has not been puppy developed bronchitis and has been on antibiotics for three weeks. In severe cases, we have known some dogs who have developed pneumonia.

Respiratory infections cannot be prevented or vaccinated against completely, and can spread very easily - they can even be spread through the air. We are asking all of our clients to be vigilant and keep your pet home if you see any signs of coughing, sneezing, runny nose, or discharge from the eye. Our staff is also looking for these symptoms as they observe the dogs that are here for play or training, and we will be separating and sending home any pets who show any of these signs of illness. If we determine it necessary to send your pet home, we appreciate your understanding and support.

We will, of course, do our part to restrict the spread of any illness, and continue to clean and disinfect our facility daily, as we always do, with viricides and bleach.

Like the common cold, respiratory infections are always a possibility when several dogs are together in one place. However, we have a great track record of keeping these kinds of infections away from our facility, and work hard to be sure that everyone at Riverdog stays healthy and happy!