Meet Alfie. He was brought in with a cough and sore throat, this time of year we immediately think of Kennel Cough, an infectious bronchitis of dogs which is very common when it is warm and damp, as it has been all summer. However, in Alfie’s case, his owner was sure he had swallowed a needle and thread, so we sedated him and took an X ray. Sure enough there was a needle visible at the base of his tongue. Under general anaesthetic we removed it along with its associated thread.
This case teaches us not to jump to conclusions. Kennel Cough is very common at the moment, despite the name it can be caught from an infected dog coughing anywhere. Dogs that are at the highest risk of catching this disease are those that mix with other dogs, such as going to training classes, agility, dog shows, playing in the park, and , of course, going into kennels!
Kennel Cough produces a cough as if they have something stuck in the throat, often dogs will cough up thick saliva. It is a distressing disease but usually only serious if the dog is very old, or very young or has another disease at the same time.
There is a vaccine against Kennel Cough, please ask about it at the surgery.