Kennel Cough Outbreak Hits Islands

Islands' vet Heike Dorn

Island dog-owners are being advised to have their pets inoculated against kennel cough as cases have been reported on the islands.

The illness is passed on from contact between pets and it’s likely to have been spread by a visitor who has brought over an infected animal.

Islands’ Vet, Dr Heike Dorn, says it tends to crop up every year at this time as visitors start to arrive for the new season.

It’s not fatal but can be deeply unpleasant for any pet that contracts it. Heike says you will know if your dog gets it because it will be very ill, with a very sore throat and loud, grating cough.

Heike says she has some vaccine stocks left from 2011 but that might not work as the strain of kennel cough virus changes regularly in a similar way to flu. She’s hoping the new stocks will arrive by the end of the week.

The vaccine is of no benefit if your dog already has the cough, but she can give antibiotics, which will help stop secondary infections such as tonsillitis.

And she asks any pet owners who suspect their dog may have it, to keep them away from other animals.