Owner worries about diseases in boarding kennels

Q: We are very concerned about leaving our dog at our local boarding kennel for a week because of what she might be exposed to by coming into contact with other dogs. We live in a community where many people move in and out frequently. Although we have had our dog vaccinated against parvovirus, we are especially worried about this disease because of its severe signs. Are we being overly paranoid?

A: Every pet owner should be concerned about exposing their animals to other animals in boarding kennels, veterinary hospitals, common dog runs, and other places where animals congregate. However, this concern should not be blown out of proportion. Picking a boarding kennel that has high standards for cleanliness and policies prohibiting unvaccinated and sick pets will help avoid problems. The kennel should be large enough to avoid crowding and have enough personnel to keep the premises extremely clean. Obviously, having your dog vaccinated according to your veterinarian’s recommendations is also important.

Parvovirus is a serious disease threat for unvaccinated dogs. Early signs of the disease include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and severe diarrhea. Of course, dehydration follows vomiting and diarrhea very quickly. Most deaths because of parvovirus usually occur within 48 to 72 hours following the first clinical signs. Although most veterinarians base their diagnoses of parvovirus on visual clinical signs, confirmation can be obtained by testing fecal samples.

Because there are no specific treatments for dogs with parvovirus, most veterinarians administer medications and fluids to decrease the diarrhea and vomiting while giving intravenous fluids to rehydrate the dog. Antibiotics are also often given to prevent bacteria from causing secondary infections in the already disabled dog.

Parvovirus is spread from dog to dog through contaminated feces. It is, therefore, very important that all dog owners pick up after their dogs. It is, especially important to prevent puppies from exposure to other dogs’ feces.

You should consult with your veterinarian about concerns regarding boarding your dog. The fear of boarding should not disrupt your travel plans. There are many very high-quality boarding facilities located throughout the United States.

Send e-mail to copleysd@copleynews.com or write to Pets, Copley News Service, P.O. Box 120190, San Diego, CA 92112-0190. Only questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


Breaking News Alerts

To sign up for breaking news email alerts, Click on the email address below and put "email alerts" in the subject line: sdetar@thedanielislandnews.com

Comment Here