Dog owners warned over kennel cough outbreak

DOG owners have been urged to get their pets vaccinated to guard against an outbreak of kennel cough sweeping Berwickshire and north Northumberland.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 31st March 2010, 11:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2010, 11:43 am

The scale of the problem has been revealed by David Knight of the Berwick-based Renton Swan veterinary practice.

He said: "Very large numbers of dogs have been affected, firstly in Berwick but also now in Duns, Coldstream, Chirnside and Eyemouth.

"The disease causes a severe hacking cough which owners often describe the dog as 'having something stuck in its throat'.

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"It typically lasts three weeks or more but dogs can remain infectious to other dogs for weeks or even months after the cough has gone.

"Although it's called kennel cough it can be passed on through any contact between dogs and most of the early cases seemed to stem from dogs walked along Spittal promenade.

"Owners can protect their dogs with a vaccine given up their dog's nose," he added.

The same message was echoed by Jan Ross of Berwick Animal Rescue Kennels (BARK).

"I'd urge all dog owners to get them vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent this outbreak from spreading any further," she said.

"At the moment we're asking that all dogs coming into the kennels have the kennel cough vaccine. It's a very good vaccine because it works in five days.

"It's not been a problem at the kennels but we're aware that there have been quite a number of cases in the area and we want to make sure it doesn't spread here."

She added: "It's a bit unfortunate that it is called kennel cough. We'd like to see it rebranded because it's a disease which can happen any place where dogs are in contact with each other, in a way just like our common cold."