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Camp Health Update - Kennel Cough

Camp Health Update - Kennel Cough

Over the past few days, we have received confirmed/suspected reports for dogs with kennel cough. We are writing to keep you informed and to educate you of the general symptoms out of an abundance of caution.

We have 10 suspected or confirmed cases of kennel cough over the past 16 days at Camp. During this time, we have cared for more than 1500 unique dogs. While this is not a very high percentage of cases, kennel cough is contagious, and we want to minimize the risk for all our Campers.

Kennel cough for a dog is similar to the common cold in humans. Symptoms include:

  • a strong cough, often with a "honking" sound
  • runny nose
  • sneezing

If you observe these symptoms, please DO NOT bring your dog into camp. Kennel cough is contagious and we obviously want to avoid continued spreading of the virus. Please contact your vet for an appointment AND also please do alert us so that we can track appropriately.

Common Question/Answers
My dog received his Bordetella vaccination so he can't get kennel cough correct?
This is not correct. Bordetella is effective for combating approximately 64% of the known strains of kennel cough. Similar to our human flu vaccinations, getting the human flu shot does not mean you won't get the flu. It simply minimizes the risk of getting the flu. Bordetella simply minimizes the risk of a dog becoming infected with kennel cough.

What steps do you take at Camp to minimize the spread of kennel cough?
We require Bordetella vaccinations every 6 months, currently. Bordetella works on approximately 64% of strains of the virus. We listen and watch for any signs of illness and quickly isolate dogs showing possible signs of kennel cough. We adhere to strict cleaning protocols to reduce the spread of the airborne virus. We require an in-area emergency contact to act as an agent on behalf of the pet parent to ensure timely removal from the facility. We communicate with our pet parents to track and advise. We require confirmed cases necessitate completion of any medication and Camper to be cough-free for 10 days.

Why did you allow a sick dog into the facility?
We would never knowingly permit a dog showing symptoms of illness into Camp. It can take 3-7 days for the symptoms of kennel cough to show up so a pet parent, or a caregiver, will not know that a dog has kennel cough but the dog can infect other dogs during this early stage.

My dog coughed a few times overnight but doesn't seem sick. He's eating fine and seems his "normal self." Can he come to camp?
Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that you keep him home to monitor and contact your vet if the coughing persists.

My dog coughed a few times over the past day but I'm not sure if he's sick. Is there anything I can do to be sure?
One thing you might try is getting your dog excited and moving around. We sometimes will do a "happy dance" in front of a dog and talk in a higher voice to get them excited. If they start coughing right away it's a good bet they may have kennel cough. The only way, however, is to visit your vet for testing.

What is the typical treatment for kennel cough?
Treatment is generally limited to symptomatic relief with antibiotics, in some cases a cough suppressant, and rest. We recommend consultation with your vet if you observe symptoms.

The vet confirmed (or suspects) my dog has kennel cough. Aside from treatment, what should I do?
Please contact Camp to report the case. We track all health concerns so that we can monitor and keep all pet parents informed.

When can a dog with kennel cough return to camp?
We ask that the dog complete all medications and be cough-free for 10-days before returning to Camp.

My dog got kennel cough at Camp Bow Wow. Will you cover vet charges?
We don't debate with pet parents whether their dog contracted kennel cough from a recent visit at Camp. While a dog may be exposed to kennel cough anywhere that dogs interact, being in the Camp Bow Wow open-play environment with exposure to many dogs increases the chance that a dog may contract a health issue such as kennel cough. Each pet parent accepts the responsibility for covering their own vet bills as a part of the new Camper agreement signed on the day of the new camper interview. This policy is similar to a child day care environment. We accept that our children may contract an illness while at daycare despite their best efforts to minimize the risk and parents pay their own doctor bills should a child need medical care.

We will continue to monitor and keep you informed. Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

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