Kennel cough outbreak reported among some Burlington County dogs
A contagious disease that affects dogs is spreading through some Burlington County towns, and now some veterinarians are asking pet owners to isolate their dogs.
The Freedom Barks dog park in Medford Township is usually busy. But it sat empty on Monday because of an upper respiratory disease impacting pets in the county.
“We’ve already had two cases this morning and we’re probably seeing an average of three or four a day,” says Dr. James Massaro of Village Veterinary Hospital. "These dogs are coughing. They have a dry, hacking cough and then bringing up this phlegmy material."
Bordetella, otherwise known as kennel cough, which most dogs are vaccinated against, is only one strain of the disease that vet hospitals are seeing.
"We're also seeing cases that are not kennel cough or Bordetella and are more likely to be from para-influenza that's part of CIRDS or it could be from mycoplasma. That's a bacteria and to be honest with you, we think most of the majority of the cases that were seeing, at least locally are a mycoplasma,” says Massaro.
Massaro says that there is no vaccine for that. This is why vets are urging pet parents to keep their dogs isolated.
“In the dog park, you’re at this end of the dog park and the dogs at that end – you’re not likely to be contagious. But they play, they wrestle with the other [dogs] and it becomes much of an infectious agent,” he says.
Signs have been put up in Medford asking people and their pets to stay out of dog parks until Friday to keep the disease from spreading. Vets are also asking owners to reconsider already planned appointments.
"We're recommending to just be very careful about grooming, day care and boarding anything where dogs are together in a collective environment,” says Massaro.
Village Veterinary Hospital says it's common to see outbreaks of kennel cough, and other respiratory diseases this time of year. But doctors note that this has been a more active year.