Canine Cough Advisory
Ralston Valley Canine's most recent reported cases: 2 cases (no complications) during week of October 1.
Canine cough is treatable and common, but also highly contagious, and typically lasts 1 to 2 weeks, though there have been cases that have lasted up to 6 weeks. Not all dogs carrying canine cough are symptomatic, and therefore, can easily expose other dogs. ALL places where 2 or more dogs congregate can be a place where your dog might be exposed (veterinary clinic, the park, through a neighbor's fence, grooming shops, daycare, and yes, kennels). As we enter peak holiday season, and in our continued effort to be hypervigilant about canine cough management, we will be performing select and random temperature checks at both check-in and throughout your dog's stay. Please do not bring a suspected sick or exposed dog out into the public -- dogs who test with elevated temperature or exhibit illness symptoms such as cough, nasal and eye discharge (congestion), or lethargy, will be delayed from check-in until we receive a health clearance from their veterinarian. If a dog becomes suspected of illness during their stay with us, we will quarantine and contact the owner (and we will contact owners of dogs who may have come into close contact with the suspected dog).
IMPORTANT: If you suspect symptoms, promptly contact your veterinarian for treatment options and continue to monitor your dog for any worsening symptoms. Be advised that dogs who have compromised immune systems, who are senior citizens or are under age 6 months are susceptible to complications.
What we do to help prevent / control canine cough -- The largest ongoing issue for any dog congregation area or facility is asymptomatic dogs introducing the virus. While the Bordetella (and canine influenza) vaccine are required to enter this kennel, it is not 100% protection for your dog; but in most cases if they do get it, it can reduce their symptoms (but is not guaranteed to reduce symptoms). RVC does not do "group play" primarily for behavioral and training reasons; this has the added benefit of significantly reducing canine cough exposure between dogs. We have trained our staff to be vigilant for signs of the cough, including conducting at check-in and routine ear temperature checks. We clean and disinfect all of our kennels (and launder linens) every 24 hrs minimum (per law), and more frequently, as needed. We use veterinary-grade disinfectants, increase fresh air circulation throughout the kennel 24/7, place dogs strategically in the kennel, close off wings with separate HVAC systems, dogs spend more time outside vs. inside, and allow no contact between dogs. Canine cough season, for all kennels and any other clinic or park where dogs congregate, includes any time when the numbers of dogs increase—especially peak vacation times and major holidays.
Please do not bring a suspected sick or exposed dog out into the public, and follow your veterinarian's guidance about when it is safe to reintroduce your dog to normal activities.