While humans battle a pandemic, Montreal dogs have their own outbreak of kennel cough
MONTREAL -- As more and more Montrealers adopt some four-legged friends to keep them company during the pandemic, dog parks are seeing increasing amounts of the disease known as kennel cough.
“I do think there is likely an outbreak of it right now,” said Isak Kasuto, a veterinarian at the Pierrefonds Animal Hospital. “It's kind of a funny coincidence how we're dealing with a respiratory outbreak in dogs while we're dealing with a respiratory outbreak in humans. We're definitely seeing a lot more cases than we were before.”
Kayla Matthews' dog Jasper is among the animals that have been treated for the disease.
“At first we thought it was just because he was coughing up mucus, we were like 'Was it something he ate?' because he gets into everything,” she said.
“The dog is hacking, trying to clear something out of its throat,” said Kasuto. “Often, clients think the dog has something stuck in its throat.”
He noted the severity can vary from one dog to another.
Peter Woodward's dog Bella has also had kennel cough.
“With Bella, it was early,” he said. “It wasn't so bad, a slight case. I had other dogs that had gone through it.”
One place where the disease might be spreading: dog parks. Just as with humans, dogs have had an issue with social distancing.
“There's a higher risk of catching a disease that's not necessarily serious, but is highly contagious,” said Kasuto.
Worried owners shouldn't fret: there is a vaccine for kennel cough.
“The vaccines help them fight off the condition a little easier, reduces the severity, reduces the risk of more serious complications like pneumonia,” said Kasuto.