It's all about that cough : Q&A from our last webinar series on kennel cough !

Great online discussion yesterday during the 4 webinars we did on kennel cough ! Thanks again for all of you who attended, we believe webinars are a great way to share knowledge with you guys and better prepare you to face the challenges of dog breeding ! As promised, you will find in this forum thread the answers to the questions we received during the online session ! And if you have more, feel free to post them here or on your favorite social media. We'll be more than happy to answer !

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Best cleaning agent in a kennel ? 


I think it is important here to make the difference between a cleaner (=product you use to remove the organic matter) and the disinfectant (=product you use to destroy the remaining pathogens after the cleaning phase). Sanitation requires 2 different steps, and therefore, 2 different products. More about this in the following blog


When it comes to cleaning, a good soap (like dish soap) is considered a good cleaner. It will help scrap the organic matter on the surface and make the disinfecting phase way more efficient. Kennel degreasers can also be used for this purpose. 

Shedding in modified live vaccines in regards to puppies and adults ?


While evocative clinical signs may appear in certain individuals after intranasal vaccination, the modified live organism used for vaccination is avirulent (=not infectious to other individuals). 

Santitation agent...What works best?


We already discussed which cleaner should be used in a kennel a couple of questions before.

Kennel cough being caused by a myriad of pathogens, the disinfectant that should be used in kennels facing this problem should be geared towards the most resistant pathogen involved in this syndrome, which is the Canine Adenovirus Type 2 (nude virus).

Disinfectants like bleach (5% bleach solution diluted to 1:32) or potassium peroxymonosulfate would be a good choice here. See this table for more information :

NB: use a disinfectant that is efficient on parvo or calicivirus, which are two nude viruses as well.

What dosages of EPA/DHA would you advise using for large breed dogs and what anti-oxydants do you recommend ?


Our size products (like our PRO Maxi Adult) are already supplemented with the right amount of EPA-DHA. Before supplementing those type of diets, discuss it with your veterinarian. Remember that nutrition is at first about balance. Oversupplementation can indeed lead to the development of certain side effects.


When it comes to anti-oxydants, we usually recommend diets containing vitamin C – vitamin E – lutein – taurine. This is something that can be found in our breed diets for instance 

We had 2 incidences of kennel cough turning into encephalitis in pups. Is that common ?


No, this is not a common expression when dealing with the “average” kennel cough.


That being said, keep in mind that kennel cough can be caused by the canine distemper virus, which can also lead to encephalitis in puppies. Moreover, bacterial complications of kennel cough are not rare, and if those complications are severe, they could potentially explain those types of symptoms.


Is it a good idea to give puppies a kennel cough vaccine before they go to their new homes ?


We think this is where the good relationship with your veterinarian will prevail. Indeed, this truly depends on the risk the puppy will be exposed to when arriving in his new environment. If it is a high risk environment, it might be something to consider indeed. Your veterinarian has access to local epidemiological data and he might be able to tell you if there is a risk, or not.


The new lifestyle of the puppy should be taken into consideration as well. If he is going to be in contact with a lot of other dogs, the risk automatically increases.


Our 2 cents : evaluate the risk with your veterinarian, and vaccinate accordingly. 

Kennel cough is created from you providing a dirty kennel for your pups right ?


Kennel cough is primarily an infectious disease: dogs get in contact with the pathogen and develop the disease, and can potentially spread it inside the kennel.


The kennel sanitation plan indeed plays a huge role in controlling the spread of the disease. The more well-executed it is, the better the situation will be, that’s a certainty.


In my opinion, it is very important to keep in mind that very often, it is not that the kennel is dirty. Many diseases will spread because the sanitation plan is not properly done. For instance, it is important to remember the difference between cleaning & disinfecting, which are two different mandatory steps of the sanitation protocol. The type of disinfectant will also play an essential role.


We did an entire webinar on this topic that will provide you with more info (it was originally made for shelters, but the same logic can be applied to breeding kennels) :

For young puppies that have been coughing for 3+ weeks, are they still shedding the contagens ?

Not necessarily, remember the kennel cough will lead to an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Sometimes, the clinical signs can persist just because of the remaining inflammation, while all pathogens have already been eliminated.


That being said, in breeding kennels, it is always better to take as many precautions as you can. Animals should remain isolated at least 14 days after clinical recovery (even more if the pathogen that was identified is known to be potentially shed for longer than that). 

How common is kennel cough? I’ve heard of it before. But bred 55 pups and never had it. is it something i really need to worry about?


I think in breeding kennels, it is always something to worry about. Kennel cough is still considered the nb 1 infectious disease in kennelled dogs.


If you are in a low-risk situation, that’s great ! However, awareness remains mandatory in my opinion because of the impact it can have on your breeding activity.


That’s why again the relationship you have with your veterinarian is essential. Based on what is going on in the surrounding community, he can help you define the best measures that need to be taken in case suddenly kennel cough becomes a growing concern in your area. 

What is the normal incubation period for kennel cough ?


Kennel cough is an acute disease. Animals will exhibit clinical signs 3-10 days after being exposed to the pathogen. 

What about the risk of outside visitors ?


All the sanitary precautions we described during the webinar should apply to outside visitors as well :

-          Rationalize their foot traffic inside your kennel ;

-          Make sure they wash their hands or wear gloves when touching the animals ;

-          Make them wear cover-shoes if you think this is needed ;


Remember that some of the pathogens causing kennel cough are resistant in the environment, especially when protected by organic matter. Your outside visitors can eventually turn into a fomite and spread the disease inside your kennel if no precaution is taken. 

Is Lysol spray on my shoes a good way to reduce or eliminate the risk of bringing kennel cough home after being at a dog show?


This product is what we call a hydrogen peroxide. We describe its specificities in the following blog :

While it has a good detergent activity, it is important to keep in mind it is not active against nude viruses (and the Canine Adenovirus Type 2 is a nude virus). 

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