An outbreak of a “kennel cough” is reportedly being spread in Nairn.
Irene Walker is warning other dog owners to be careful after her 11-year-old border terrier picked up the highly contagious airborne condition.
Poor Crosby has been coughing all through the night and has been given an anti-inflammatory from the vet – who has reportedly been kept busy with such cases.
Mrs Walker, a solicitor who works in Inverness, believes Crosby either picked the kennel cough up from another dog they were with a couple of weeks ago or on one of their walks.
She wants to warn other dog owners the disease may be doing the rounds.
She added: “The vet told me she felt like she had seen nothing but dogs with the cough this week. It’s clearly high contagious and I won’t be walking him for a wee while. I’m not sure he’s over the worst just yet, he’s only had it a couple of days.
“Our other dog Frank had a sticky eye and his nose was a bit runny but he’s only three so he’s a good bit younger. It was probably the same thing. Hopefully he will be OK. It’s really nasty.”
‘Constant’ coughing bouts
Mrs Walker said poor Crosby has been suffering worst through the night.
“The first night was the worst so far,” she said. “By the time he went to bed it was just constant. He maybe had two minutes at a time between coughing bouts and this went on for the whole night.
She added: “I was giving him syringes of hot water and honey to try and soothe his wee throat and see if that would settle him. It really sounds like he’s choking. And because he’s older too, I’m all the more concerned.”
What is kennel cough?
The condition called canine infectious tracheobronchitis gets its name because it is commonly picked up in kennels.
But it can easily be spread in other ways which means dogs that have never been anywhere near a boarding kennel can catch it.
According to the PDSA, kennel cough is an airway infection that causes a nasty cough in dogs.
It is most common in areas where lots of dogs gather and is spread in the air and on surfaces.
The charity warns dogs with kennel cough should be kept away from other pets and public spaces while ill, and for two to three weeks afterwards.
Symptoms and treatment
Symptoms usually take between three and 14 days to develop, and then last for one to three weeks.
Most dogs develop a hacking cough and stay generally well, but puppies, older dogs, and poorly dogs can develop more serious symptoms, including a high temperature or reduced appetite and even pneumonia.
The illness can be treated at home with most cases without any medication.
However, pets that become seriously unwell can receive antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. There is also a vaccine for the illness.
While the disease usually affects dogs, other animals such as cats, rabbits, horses, mice, and guinea pigs, can also develop it.