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Kennel cough virus spreading through dogs in the Northland

DULUTH,MN– Kennel cough is on the rise in the Northland.

Veterinarians are treating more dogs for the virus in area animal hospitals.

Dr. Kelly Powell from Dougherty Veterinary Clinic says there’s been an enormous increase of dogs getting sick.

“I would say in the past three or four weeks, we’re probably getting about ten calls a week,” says Powell.

The virus is an airborne disease and can also be spread through dogs swapping saliva while playing.

Superior Animal Hospital Medical Director Dr. Robert McClellan says the virus is similar to the flu.

“Either nose to nose contact, swapping spit so to speak when they are slobbering each other or it can be spread on clothes,” says McClellan.

Veterinarians say owners should keep an eye out for their dog having respiratory issues.

Dr. Powell  describes the symptoms as, “A really harsh, honking, really distinct cough.”

Pay extra close attention if your dog spends time with big groups of other dogs.

“Having been boarded, having been training, or in a dog park,” says Dr. Powell.

Dr. McClellan adds places where large groups of dogs can be, “Grooming shop, every place where dogs get together, dog parks those are those exposure areas.”

But this doesn’t mean dog facilities aren’t clean places to send your pup.

Dr. Powell reminds her of animal owners that like any other clod or flu they do spread around.

“It has nothing to do with the cleanliness, status of a kennel. It’s just kind of bad luck,” she says.

Veterinarians say getting your dog vaccinated will help keep them safe from getting the infection.

If your dog is to catch the virus, veterinarians will provide medication such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

Emma Quinn

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