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Ask the Veterinarian/Disease prevention


Firs, I have to thank you for sharing your knowledge and spending your time to help animals and their caretakers.

We are planning to bring in our next foster dog.  We have found one that looks like the perfect candidate for our situation.  Unfortunately, she is in a shelter not known for disease control.  Many dogs contract Kennel Cough and even those that are symptom free are in close contact with the ones already sick.

Our own dogs are always up to date with their Bordatella vaccine.  What concerns us is that there are known cases from that shelter that appeared to have a strain of KC that other dogs contract even though they have been vaccinated.

Do you know of a product that can be applied, or a shampoo, that will decrease the chances of our own dogs becoming sick?

Ah David I wish it were that easy but Kennel Cough is caused by a bacterium and some viruses, so shampooing your dog won't help any.

These are airborne diseases, which is why a dog running through your yard with  Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) can give it to your dog, even if your dog is in the backyard.

The viruses are hardy but don't last long in soil. Compared to Parvo virus, which can persist for 6 months, most kennel cough bacteria only last a few weeks.

The reason that some of these dogs are contracting CIRDC is because it might be CIRD instead, which is simply Canine Infectious respiratory disease.

Or it could be ITB, infectious Tracheobroncitis, which isn't the same but closely related.
I get that every winter from being around too many dogs- and yes, humans can get it.

Making sure your dogs are up to date on vaccinations is very important. If you can isolate this dog for a few weeks before you bring her into the house, then the chances are lower of her spreading it to the other dogs. But remember that not every vaccination is 100% effective all the time, and in crowded shelters many dogs have other immune system issues that lend themselves to getting infected.

Here is a link to a PDF that will explain more about CIRDC.

Bless you for fostering her.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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