NOTICE: Vet warns of kennel cough outbreak - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

NOTICE: Vet warns of kennel cough outbreak

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As many people are heading out to enjoy the pleasant weather with their furry friends area vets are warning dog owners about a spike in kennel cough. Experts say they've even seen vaccinated dogs coming down with a new strain.

Doctor Chad Smith from Taylor Veterinary Hospital says in the last week he's treated nearly a dozen dogs for kennel cough and he's urging dog owners to stay away from dog parks.

"It's because all of the dogs are out and about and they aren't cooped up and one dog gives it to the other and it just snow balls," said Dr. Smith.

Doctor Smith says he's seen several dogs per day with a cough.

"Once we start getting to day two and day three where we are seeing those two to four dogs per day there's a problem," said Dr. Smith.

Doctor Smith says your dog may eat, drink and play normally, but you need to keep an eye on them if they start coughing.

"Your dog is going to have a hacking, non-productive cough," said Dr. Smith. "A lot of the times it will get worse with exercise or if you have a collar on them when they pull on that collar, a lot of the times that can make it worse, and they will start hacking a little more."

Doctors say dogs can be infected with kennel cough even by interacting with objects other dogs coughed on.

"Anytime a dog is with unfamiliar dogs, whether it be boarding, grooming or just even on the street nose to nose contact with another dog, it can spread very easily from one dog to another dog," said Dr. Smith.

Veterinarians say there have been several reported kennel cough cases across eastern Iowa.

"Some of the other vets that I've talked to in the area are seeing the same thing, whether it be in Waterloo, Waverly they are all seeing the same stuff," said Dr. Smith. "It's kind of like elementary school kids that have a cold then one passes it to the other one and that one passes it to another one and it can keep on going for quiet a while."

Doctor Smith say it's a good idea to keep your dogs away from dog parks for the next couple of weeks to prevent them from potentially becoming infected. He says if your dog is infected it typically takes three to 10 days to see those symptoms, it also takes at least two weeks to run its course.

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