CANINE DIABETES MELLITUS
What Is Diabetes Mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is an illness caused by the body’s inability to either make or use insulin, which is a hormone produced and released by specialized cells in the pancreas. Insulin permits the body’s cells to take sugar (glucose) from the blood and use it for their metabolism and other functions. Diabetes mellitus develops when the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or when the body’s cells are unable to use available insulin to take glucose from the blood.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (referred to as “insulin dependent” diabetes) occurs when the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes (more common in cats and humans) has been called “relative insulin deficiency”; it occurs when the body’s cells develop “insulin resistance,” meaning that they are unable to effectively use available insulin, or when the pancreas is producing some insulin, but not enough to serve the body’s needs. Most diabetic dogs have type 1 diabetes mellitus. Lifelong administration of insulin is generally required to control this illness.
What Are the Clinical Signs of Diabetes in Dogs?
Diabetes can exist for a while before it begins to make an animal obviously ill. Clinical signs may vary depending on the stage of disease, but they can include the following:
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?
Your veterinarian may suspect that your dog has diabetes if any suspicious clinical signs, such as increased drinking and/or urinating, have been observed at home. After performing a thorough physical examination, your veterinarian may recommend some of these tests to help confirm a diagnosis:
How Is Diabetes Treated?
Because dogs tend to have type 1 diabetes mellitus, insulin injections are generally started at diagnosis and continued for the rest of the pet’s life. Your veterinarian may also recommend dietary changes to help control your dog’s diabetes. It is very helpful to write a medication schedule for your pet on the calendar, including the date and time that the medication needs to be administered, and to maintain accurate records. This will help you to avoid forgetting to give insulin to your pet and allows you to track your pet’s treatment.
After treatment begins, periodic blood and urine tests are generally recommended. This helps ensure that the insulin dosage is right for your dog. Your dog’s weight, appetite, drinking and urination, and attitude at home can all provide useful information that helps determine if his or her diabetes is being well managed. Your veterinarian will consider all of these factors when making recommendations for continued management.
Many dogs live active, happy lives once their diabetes is well regulated. However, insulin therapy and regular monitoring at home and by your veterinarian are necessary for the rest of your dog’s life.
CANINE CORONAVIRUS INFECTION
What Is Canine Coronavirus?
Coronavirus infection is a highly contagious infection of puppies and older dogs that primarily attacks the intestinal tract. The disease is spread from dog to dog through contact with feces. After coronavirus has been transmitted to a dog, the incubation (development) period of the disease can be as short as 1 to 4 days.
Signs of Coronavirus Infection
Coronavirus infections are typically mild and self-limiting (resolving without treatment), and infected dogs may have several days of diarrhea that resolves without treatment. Other signs may include:
Diagnosis and Treatment
Coronavirus infection is typically diagnosed based on clinical signs, although definitive laboratory testing is available. Because the clinical signs can be similar to those of more serious diseases (such as parvovirus infection), your veterinarian may recommend testing to rule out other illnesses.
Because coronavirus infection is caused by a virus, there is no cure. Treatment is typically limited to supportive care, such as fluid therapy, rest, and antibiotics to prevent secondary infections. If vomiting or diarrhea is severe, medications may be prescribed to manage the problem.
Coronavirus is spread through contact with fecal material from infected dogs, so separating sick dogs from healthy ones can help reduce disease spread. Coronavirus can be killed by many types of household disinfectants (including diluted bleach solution), so cleaning contaminated areas and bedding can also help reduce disease spread.
A vaccine is available to prevent canine coronavirus infection. The coronavirus vaccine is not required for all dogs, but it may sometimes be included in combination vaccines for other, more serious diseases, such as infections with canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, and canine adenovirus type 2.
CANINE BLADDER INFECTIONS
What Is a Bladder Infection?
The bladder is an expandable sac, like a balloon, that lies toward the back of the abdomen and is part of the system that removes waste from the body. Urine flows from the kidneys through the tube-shaped ureters and into the bladder, where it is stored before being eliminated from the body through a tube called the urethra.
Urine in the bladder is normally sterile unless microbes (usually bacteria) travel up the urethra and proliferate, causing an infection. These bacteria may come from the nearby rectal area or from the genital tract. Conditions such as diabetes can increase the risk of developing bladder infections, as can medications that depress the immune system, including high-dose or long-term corticosteroids.
In long-standing infections, the bladder tissue can thicken and scar, creating more places for bacteria to grow. Long-term infection also increases the chances that infection will spread upstream to the kidneys or cause bladder stones to form.
What Are the Signs of a Bladder Infection?
Urinary infections irritate the walls of the bladder, so pets with bladder infections have the urge to go even when there is little urine present. They frequently pass small amounts of urine that are often tinged with blood. Constant squatting and straining without passing much urine and having urinary accidents in the house are typical signs of potential bladder infection. Bladder infections are more common in females than in males; however, any dog can have a bladder infection.
Bladder infections change the chemical makeup of the urine, which makes it easier for minerals in the urine to crystallize and form stones. Bladder stones add to the irritation and create places for bacteria to hide from bodily defenses and antibiotics.
On some occasions, bladder stones can block the outflow of urine, which is a serious emergency situation. Pets with urinary obstruction can have a swollen, painful abdomen and strain repeatedly without passing urine. This is a medical emergency!
How Is a Bladder Infection Diagnosed?
Your veterinarian can usually diagnose an uncomplicated bladder infection based on your pet’s history and a urinalysis. In some cases, a urine sample might be sent to a laboratory to determine the specific bacteria involved (through a culture and sensitivity test) as well as an effective antibiotic for treatment. Abdominal radiography (x-rays) or ultrasound imaging is sometimes needed to look for stones, tumors, or other abnormalities involving the bladder.
How Are Bladder Infections Treated?
Treatment for a simple bladder infection usually consists of 1 or 2 weeks of antibiotics. Chronic or severe infections may require longer treatment. Infections that clear up and then come back may suggest an underlying problem requiring additional diagnostic testing and treatment.
If bladder stones are present, there are several options for eliminating them:
What Is It?
Arthritis is a joint problem that can reduce mobility and cause pain. Often seen in older dogs, arthritis can by caused by injury, infection, the body’s own immune system, or developmental problems. The most common form of arthritis is called osteoarthritis (osteo = bone; arthr = joint; itis = disease) or degenerative joint disease. Normally, joints form smooth connections between bones. Osteoarthritis involves thinning of joint cartilage (a protective cushioning between bones), buildup of fluid within the joint, and the formation of bony growths within the joint. Over time, this can lead to reduced joint mobility as well as pain. Osteoarthritis affects one of every five dogs.
Signs and Diagnosis
Recognizing arthritis in dogs can be difficult because the condition progresses slowly and dogs don't complain about their aching joints. Also, some owners assume that signs of arthritis are “normal” in older animals.
Bringing your dog in for an annual checkup can help your veterinarian identify clinical signs early. Radiography (x-rays) can reveal bony growths and joint abnormalities.
Regular, moderate exercise and a high-quality diet can help delay aging, manage body weight, and keep your dog’s musculoskeletal system in good shape. Ask your veterinarian to recommend an exercise program and a diet that are appropriate for your dog.
Many human and canine pain relievers are poisonous to cats.
Aids for Arthritic Dogs
CANINE CHRONIC OTITIS
What Is Canine Otitis?
Canine chronic otitis is recurrent or persistent inflammation of the ear. One or both ears may be affected. Inflammation of the ear often leads to secondary infection caused by yeast or bacterial overgrowth. This condition can be quite painful.
Chronic otitis is most often caused by allergies to fleas, certain foods, or substances in the environment. Sometimes medical problems like thyroid disease can cause a dog to develop otitis. Certain breeds such as cocker spaniels and golden retrievers are more prone to ear infections.
Signs of Canine Chronic Otitis
Signs of otitis include head shaking, scratching, and even head rubbing against floors and furniture. The normally pink skin of the ear appears very red, and dark debris or yellow to brown discharge may be present, along with a foul odor. In dogs with dark pigmented skin, the redness may not be apparent, but debris, discharge, odor, and discomfort will be evident. This condition will persist or get progressively worse if left untreated.
Signs of Canine Chronic Otitis
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis is based on history, clinical signs, swabs of samples taken from inside the ear canal, and physical examination, including examination with an otoscope (a special tool with a light and a cone for viewing the inside of the ear canal). Your veterinarian may perform cytology, which is an examination of the swab sample from the ear specially prepared on a slide for evaluation under a microscope. The slide is examined for the presence of yeast, bacteria, and white blood cells (which fight infection). Ear mites (microscopic mites that can live inside the ear canal) can cause ear infections and also can be identified when your veterinarian looks under the microscope.
Another test commonly used to help diagnose chronic otitis is a bacterial culture and sensitivity test. For this test, your veterinarian will use a sterile swab to obtain a sample of material from inside the ear. This swab is then placed in a special tube and sent to the lab for specific identification of bacteria and yeast.
The test result also lists the most effective antibiotics against the identified bacteria.
Treatment of chronic otitis most commonly includes medicated ear-drops or cream along with a prescribed ear-cleaning regimen. Most ear medications contain a steroid to reduce inflammation, an anti-fungal medication, and an antibacterial medication. Sometimes your veterinarian will recommend pill or liquid medication to be given by mouth to help treat otitis. If your veterinarian performs a bacterial culture and sensitivity test, the results of this test will guide in the choice of antibacterial and/or anti-fungal medication. It is very important to follow the prescribed treatment, since failure to complete treatment may result in recurrence and even bacterial or fungal resistance to treatment.
Another important element of diagnosis and treatment is to identify underlying allergies. Common allergies in dogs include flea allergies, food allergies, and environmental allergies (allergy to dust, mold, pollen, and other common particles found in the environment). Your veterinarian can guide you through the identification process, which includes regular flea prevention, possibly a “hypoallergenic” food trial, and allergy-testing using specialized skin and blood tests.
Because medical problems, such as thyroid disease, can sometimes cause otitis, your veterinarian may recommend specific blood tests to look for evidence of underlying illness.
Most cases of chronic otitis are treated or managed with medication. In some extreme cases, surgery may be recommended.
Identification of underlying allergies is very important for successful long-term management and preventing “flare ups” in the future. If food allergies are identified, a special diet may be recommended to avoid offending foods. Sometimes this involves a prescription diet or a good quality store-bought diet that does not contain any of the identified allergens. If environmental allergies are identified using skin and blood tests, allergy shots may be recommended to help reduce sensitivity to the named allergens. In the case of flea allergies, regular flea prevention with a product recommended by your veterinarian is very important.
Other forms of prevention include regular ear cleaning with an ear cleanser that will help to inhibit fungal and bacterial overgrowth. Most ear cleansers also break up and flush out wax and debris that accumulate in the ear. Your veterinarian can guide you in the appropriate choice of ear cleanser, and discuss frequency of cleaning along with proper technique.
CANINE ADENOVIRUS TYPE 2
What Is Canine Adenovirus Type 2?
Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) causes respiratory disease in dogs and is one of the infectious agents commonly associated with canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also known as kennel cough. Canine infectious tracheobronchitis is usually spread from dog to dog through coughing. Dogs that are around other dogs, such as at boarding facilities, grooming salons, or dog parks, are at increased risk for exposure.
After CAV-2 has been transmitted to a dog, the incubation (development) period of the disease is approximately 3 to 10 days. The infection is typically self-limiting (resolving without treatment); however, in some cases, it can lead to pneumonia.
Signs of Canine Adenovirus Type 2 Infection
Common signs of CAV-2 infection include:
Diagnosis and Treatment
Infectious canine tracheobronchitis is usually diagnosed based on clinical signs and a history of possible exposure (such as a recent trip to a grooming salon or boarding facility).
Treatment of CAV-2 infection is typically limited to supportive care, which may consist of fluids, rest, and antibiotics to treat secondary infections that may develop.
A vaccine is available to prevent CAV-2 infection. However, it is important to realize that the vaccine does not completely prevent a dog from contracting CAV-2. Rather, the vaccine limits the severity of infection so that vaccinated dogs typically experience a milder form of the disease.
The CAV-2 vaccine also protects against infection with canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1). CAV-1 causes infectious canine hepatitis—a dangerous and potentially fatal infection. Because CAV-2 is common and the CAV-2 vaccine cross-protects against CAV-1, the CAV-2 vaccine is considered a core vaccine by organized veterinary medicine, meaning that all dogs should receive this vaccine. The CAV-2 vaccine is typically given in a combination vaccine that also protects against other serious diseases, such as canine distemper and canine parvovirus infection. Your veterinarian will recommend a vaccination schedule for your pet.
Other preventive measures include:
Dogs with kennel cough should wear a harness rather than a neck collar when taken for walks during recovery. Collars can place pressure on the trachea (the large airway that runs from the back of the throat into the lungs), which can contribute to coughing.
What Is the Calcium Level?
Calcium is an important nutrient that the body needs to maintain many of its organs. Bones, the heart, intestines, and muscles are just a few of the organs that rely on a healthy blood calcium level in order to function properly. If the calcium level in the blood drops too low or goes up too high, serious illness can result.
The calcium level is an important part of a blood test known as a chemistry panel, so it is often evaluated during routine wellness checkups or pre-surgery screening in healthy pets. Because a variety of medical conditions can affect the calcium level, your veterinarian may recommend testing your pet’s calcium level if your pet has any of the following signs of illness:
How Is the Calcium Level Measured?
To test your pet’s calcium level, your veterinary team must obtain a small blood sample. This procedure is usually very quick; it may take only a few seconds if the patient is well behaved. For patients that are very frightened or not well behaved, your veterinary team may want to use a muzzle, towel, or other gentle restraint device. In some cases, such as in patients with very thick fur, it may be necessary to shave the hair from the area where blood will be drawn. The hair will grow back, and this is often a good way to find the vein quickly.
Some veterinary offices have in-house blood analysis equipment, so they can perform the test for the calcium level in the office and have results the same day. Other offices send blood samples to an outside laboratory for the test to be performed. If an outside laboratory is used, results are generally available within 1 to 2 days.
Because a recent meal changes the blood and may affect the calcium level, your veterinarian may recommend that your pet not receive any food for 12 hours before drawing blood to perform the test. In most cases, water can still be offered. Please let your veterinarian know if this temporary fast will be a problem for you or for your pet.
Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving, as some products can alter the calcium level in the blood.
What Does the Calcium Level Tell Your Veterinarian?
Supplementing a pet’s diet with too much calcium or administering certain medications (such as steroids) can affect the results of a calcium level test. However, an abnormal calcium level (whether too low or too high) can also indicate a serious medical problem. Because so many of the body’s organs depend on calcium or are involved in maintaining normal blood calcium levels, abnormalities in the blood calcium level can affect the body in a variety of ways. The following are a few conditions that can cause an abnormal calcium level:
If your pet has an abnormal calcium level, your veterinarian will combine that information with other vital information about your pet to decide if further diagnostic testing is recommended to investigate the abnormal result. Additional tests may include a urinalysis (a screening test to evaluate components in the urine), radiographs (“x-rays”), or additional blood testing.
Depending on your pet’s overall condition, your veterinarian may recommend medications or other management. If the blood calcium level is dangerously low or high, hospitalization may be recommended while the problem is being corrected through fluid therapy and medications.
Are There Risks Associated With Testing the Calcium Level?
There are very few risks associated with testing the calcium level. Drawing blood usually takes only a few seconds, and your veterinary team will take precautions to ensure that your pet is not injured during this procedure. Once blood is obtained, all further processing is performed at the veterinarian’s office or at a diagnostic laboratory, so there is no risk of harm to your pet.
CBC AND CHEMISTRY PROFILE
What Is a CBC and Chemistry Profile?
Blood testing is commonly used to help diagnose disease or pinpoint injury in animals. It can also help determine the state of your pet’s health during regular physical exam visits. Although a CBC or a chemistry profile can be performed separately, these tests are frequently done at the same time; when the results are interpreted together, they provide a good overview of many of the body’s functions. As with any other diagnostic test, results of a CBC and chemistry profile are not interpreted in a vacuum. Your veterinarian will combine this information with physical exam findings, medical history, and other information to assess your pet’s health status and determine if additional testing should be recommended.
Complete blood count (CBC)
The CBC can help determine many things about your pet, including whether he or she is dehydrated, anemic (having inadequate numbers of red blood cells), or dealing with an infection. The CBC measures the quantity and quality of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The CBC results may list abbreviations for the various tests included in a CBC:
The chemistry profile measures a variety of chemicals and enzymes (proteins that are involved in the body’s chemical reactions) in the blood to provide very general information about the status of organ health and function, especially of the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. The chemistry profile also shows the patient’s blood sugar level and the quantities of important electrolytes (molecules like sodium, calcium, and potassium) in the blood.
How Is a CBC and Chemistry Profile Performed?
To perform a CBC and chemistry profile, your veterinary team must first obtain a small blood sample from your pet. This procedure is usually very quick; it may take only a few seconds if the patient is well behaved. For patients that are very frightened or not well behaved, your veterinary team may want to use a muzzle, towel, or other gentle restraint device. In some cases, such as in patients with very thick fur, it may be necessary to shave the hair from the area where blood will be drawn. This is often a good way to find the vein quickly, and the hair will grow back.
Some veterinary offices have in-house blood analysis equipment, so they can perform a CBC and chemistry profile in the office and have results the same day. Other offices send blood samples to an outside laboratory for these tests to be performed. If an outside laboratory is used, results are generally available within 1 to 2 days.
Because a recent meal changes the blood and may affect the results of a chemistry profile, your veterinarian may recommend that your pet not receive any food for 8 to 12 hours before blood is drawn. In most cases, water can still be offered. Please let your veterinarian know if this temporary fast will be a problem for you or your pet.
Also, be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications or supplements that your pet is receiving, as some products can alter the results of a chemistry profile.
What Is a CBC and Chemistry Profile Used For?
A CBC and chemistry profile is an important component of wellness blood work. Your veterinarian may recommend wellness blood work during your pet’s regular exams. Even if your pet is young and healthy, performing this testing periodically helps establish “normal” values for your pet. The next time blood work is performed, your veterinarian can compare the results with previous results to see if anything has changed. Depending on your pet’s age and health history, additional tests (such as thyroid testing or urinalysis) may also be recommended as part of wellness testing. For seniors or chronically ill pets, your veterinarian may recommend blood work more frequently. Wellness blood work screens for many medical conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease. In many cases, early diagnosis and management can improve quality of life and the long-term prognosis for pets with chronic illnesses.
When a pet presents with clinical signs indicating an illness, a CBC and chemistry profile is often performed very early during the diagnostic process. Even if results of this initial testing are all “normal,” this information can rule out a variety of medical conditions. If results of a CBC and chemistry profile are abnormal or inconclusive, your veterinarian may recommend additional testing to get closer to a diagnosis.
A CBC and chemistry profile is also part of routine blood work that is performed before a pet undergoes general anesthesia for a surgical procedure. If test results are abnormal, your veterinarian may recommend additional precautions to help ensure your pet’s safety during the procedure. Your veterinarian may also recommend postponing the procedure or choosing an alternative treatment option.
Performing a CBC and chemistry panel poses minimal risk for your pet, and in many cases, the information your veterinarian gains from this testing is invaluable.
BREAST CANCER IN DOGS AND CATS
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal mammary gland (breast) cells. If left untreated, certain types of breast cancer can metastasize (spread) to other mammary glands, lymph nodes, the lungs, and other organs throughout the body.
While any pet can develop mammary tumors, these masses occur most often in older, female dogs and cats that have not been spayed. Siamese cats have a higher risk for breast cancer than other feline breeds.
In cats, 80% to 90% of these tumors are malignant (cancerous). Dogs fare a little better: 50% of mammary tumors are malignant. Any suspicious lump in the mammary area should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
The exact cause of mammary gland cancer is unknown. However, dogs and cats that are spayed before their first heat cycle are less likely to have breast cancer, so hormones may play a role.
Treatment with hormones for other conditions may increase the risk for this type of cancer. In the past, hormones were used to treat some behavior and skin problems in cats, but this has generally fallen out of favor. Some hormone treatments are still being used in dogs, such as estrogen in the treatment of urinary incontinence, but other alternatives are usually available.
Genetics may also play a role in canine breast cancer. Recent findings show that certain genes are over-expressed in dogs with this condition.
What Are the Signs of Breast Cancer?
There’s no way to determine if a lump is cancerous simply by feeling it. But since any lump in the mammary area has the potential to be cancerous, it’s a good idea to check your pet regularly.
Mammary tumors tend to be firm, nodular masses that feel like BB pellets under the skin. Tumors may be located in a single mammary gland (the area around one nipple), or they may be in several mammary glands at once. The skin covering the tumor may be ulcerated or infected. Nipples may be swollen or red, and there may be discharge from the nipple itself.
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
The best way to diagnose breast cancer is with a surgical biopsy (tissue sample) of the mass. In dogs with large masses, it may be possible to obtain a fine needle aspirate of the tumor, which involves placing a needle into the mass and extracting cells for examination under the microscope. This procedure may be more difficult with smaller masses or in cats. Since a biopsy usually provides a larger tissue sample (likely to yield a more definitive diagnosis), this is the best option. Biopsies generally require some form of anesthesia or sedation, so your veterinarian may recommend a preanesthetic evaluation and/or blood work.
How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
Early detection and surgical removal of the masses is the best treatment option. Before performing surgery, your veterinarian will most likely recommend blood work and radiographs (x-rays). Chest radiographs are important to check for metastases to the lungs, and abdominal radiographs may show signs of enlarged lymph nodes. If the radiographs show no evidence of metastasis, the pet has a better prognosis.
Because of the high rate of malignancy in cats and the fact that cancer often invades several mammary glands along the same side of the body, a radical mastectomy with removal of all mammary glands on the same side is often recommended. For cats with masses on both sides, two separate surgeries several weeks apart may need to be performed.
Unless dogs have multiple tumors, they may not need to have as much tissue removed as cats. Submission of the tissue for microscopic examination will determine if the tumors have been completely removed. If your pet still has her ovaries and uterus, your veterinarian may recommend spaying your pet at the time of mammary surgery.
Following surgery, your veterinarian may recommend radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is designed to kill any potentially cancerous cells in a focused area. Chemotherapy involves systemic drugs that treat cancerous cells that may have travelled to other parts of the body.
Can Breast Cancer Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent breast cancer is to have your pet spayed before her first heat cycle. Even spaying your pet by 1 year of age can help reduce breast cancer risk. Pets that are spayed later in life will be at higher risk for breast cancer.
What Is It?
Bordetella bronchiseptica (B. bronchiseptica) is a bacterium that is commonly associated with respiratory disease in dogs. It can also infect cats, rabbits, and, in rare cases, humans. It is one of the most common bacterial causes of canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also sometimes called kennel cough. B. bronchiseptica is highly contagious, easily transmitted through direct contact or the air, and resistant to destruction in the environment.
Signs of Illness
Signs of canine infectious tracheobronchitis typically develop 2 to 14 days after exposure to B. bronchiseptica. In mild cases, signs typically resolve within 10 to 14 days. More severe cases, particularly when a subsequent infection has occurred, can require a much longer recovery. Infected animals can continue to shed (spread) the bacterium for months after recovery.
In healthy adult dogs, B. bronchiseptica typically causes no more than a mild illness. In puppies or in dogs with other underlying health issues, however, it can cause severe illness or even death in rare cases.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Although sophisticated testing is available, diagnosis is generally based on a history of exposure to infected dogs or a recent visit to a kennel, combined with the presence of signs of illness.
In mild cases, treatment is generally supportive, as the disease typically resolves on its own unless a subsequent infection occurs. Precautionary antibiotics to prevent subsequent infection may be prescribed. In severe cases, treatment may consist of administration of antibiotics as well as medications to help your pet breathe more easily. Cough medication may also be prescribed if appropriate.
A harness, rather than a collar, is recommended for leash walking of ill dogs. A traditional collar puts pressure on already sensitive and irritated tracheal tissues and can induce coughing episodes.
The term kennel cough is a misnomer, as dogs don’t necessarily contract the disease as a result of being kenneled. Rather, they become ill because kennels can be stressful environments for some dogs, and stress can suppress the immune system, increasing susceptibility to disease. Also, kennel conditions (such as group housing) can make it easier to spread infectious organisms, such as B. bronchiseptica. Any place where large numbers of dogs gather together increases the risk of disease transmission.
Vaccination is the best way to protect your dog from illness associated with canine infectious tracheobronchitis, particularly if your dog frequents kennels, groomers, dog shows, or dog sporting events. Although the B. bronchiseptica vaccination is not mandatory for every dog, it may be recommended in dogs whose lifestyle increases their risk of exposure to this organism. An intranasal B. bronchiseptica vaccine is available in addition to the traditional injectable vaccine. Ask your veterinarian whether vaccination is recommended for your pet and, if so, which type is best for your pet.
To reduce the risk of disease transmission, many boarding facilities require dogs to be vaccinated for kennel cough before entry.
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