Memo: In Response to Recent Upper Respiratory Infections

We have recently identified an outbreak of upper respiratory infections in dogs that have been appropriately vaccinated. Specifically, these patients are vaccinated against Bordetella bronchiseptica (or “Kennel Cough”).

“Kennel Cough” is an umbrella term for a disease that is multifactorial. This upper respiratory infection is usually contracted when your pet has been to a kennel, dog-park, or any place where there is direct contact with an infected dog. The infection is spread by inhalation of infected droplets from the contagious dog to your pet. The pet begins to run a mild fever and exhibits a very characteristic, deep-throated, often mildly productive cough. Historically, the bacteria associated with these symptoms is the Bordetella organism.

As part of our surveillance and diagnosing this respiratory illness, we have discovered that a vast majority of these patients are being infected with a completely different bacteria known as Mycoplasma. Being a different organism, Mycoplasma is not currently prevented against in any standard vaccine. We have found, however, that this infection can be controlled with antibiotics and cough suppressants.

Ideally, until this respiratory illness subsides, owners should minimize pet contact with other dogs. Cats appear to not be affected. 

If your dog is showing any of these upper respiratory symptoms, please bring your pet in for a visit with one of our doctors. As always, if you have further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call us at (615)794-7113.