Gardner Animal Care Center
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic virtually shut the United States down. After almost a year and a half of restrictions, we are all beginning to resume the activities such as eating out at restaurants, vacations, and other social events that resemble life prior to COVID-19. Our dogs can also enjoy activities such as daycare and pet boarding, dog parks, grooming, and training classes again. With the reopening of the states and an increase in dog-to-dog contact, many areas are seeing a dramatic increase in reported cases of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC, or commonly known as Kennel Cough).
Just like the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19, preventative measures help prevent contracting or spreading the infections, but unfortunately, we are still susceptible to illness from time to time. Our dogs, like humans, are not immune from getting and showing symptoms of kennel cough even while following all the best practices to minimize risk. The good news, kennel cough symptoms are generally mild and easily treated with supportive care, antibiotics, and/or cough suppressants. Most cases of kennel cough show mild symptoms, with coughing being the primary symptom and is easily managed with supportive care and/or antibiotics. Only about 5 to 10% of cases become serious. Owners should observe their pet for decreased activity level, lethargy, and not eating. Many of these cases will resolve without treatment within 14 to 21 days. We highly recommend contacting your veterinarian if your pet is showing any symptoms to discuss a treatment plan.
The Gardner Animal Care Center is currently seeing an increase in the number of CIRDC (Kennel Cough) cases. This complex is caused by over 14 different organisms or pathogens. Our vaccine protocols provide protection against only four (4) of these causative agents, including Bordetella, Parainfluenza, Adenovirus, and Distemper. Unfortunately, the remaining organisms and pathogens do not have vaccines that have been developed. Like many of our vaccines, humans and pets are still susceptible to illness after vaccination, but vaccinations often make the symptoms less severe and allow for a quicker recovery. We are continuing to monitor pets showing symptoms and taking all the necessary precautions to limit exposure, including by not limited to the following:
- The GACC has 7 separate ventilation systems that prevent cross-contamination of air in the different areas of the hospital.
- Continued enhanced disinfecting protocols.
- Mandatory vaccine protocols for daycare and boarding.
- Notification of pet parents of an outbreak.
- Monitoring boarding pets for symptoms and initiating necessary treatments when indicated.
We take these outbreaks seriously but understand the importance of providing a place your pet can participate in the fun activities and services your pet enjoys. We understand the desire to return to normal activity and taking a vacation after all the stresses of 2020 and early to mid-2021. We completely understand if you would prefer to seek alternative accommodations while we are experiencing cases of kennel cough. Yet, we currently will honor existing reservations if there are no other options to allow you to travel. Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
If you’re interested in learning more about our top-rated pet boarding in Gardner, MA, please be sure to reach out.
The team at the GACC