Kennel cough outbreak among dogs reported in Cape Fear

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We’ve been social distancing over the past six months, and now it’s dog’s turn to stay six feet apart.

Cases of kennel cough have recently been on the rise around the Cape Fear, but there are steps you can take to keep your four legged friend safe.

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Atlantic Animal Hospital veterinarian Michele Rohrer has advice for anyone with a dog.

“Our recommendation right now until we get a handle on this, and the numbers are starting to go down quickly, is to keep your dog at home and safe,” Rohrer said.

Kennel cough is an airborne infection that impacts some dogs every year, but Rohrer says this year has been especially bad. That’s why she says it’s important to know the symptoms.

“With mild cases dogs are lethargic,” Rohrer said. “Sometimes they can have eye discharge, they’ll have nasal discharge. When they get more serious they’ll develop a cough. When they have pneumonia they’ll get a fever, lethargy, sometimes nasal discharge and always a severe cough.”

Thankfully most cases of kennel cough aren’t life threatening, and Rohrer says the majority of dogs improve quickly.

“They start to improve within three days if they don’t develop a serious infection,” Rohrer said. “Seek early treatment from your veterinarian if your dog has any of the symptoms, or has been in contact with other dogs that have been infected.”

Although the outbreak of kennel cough has been pretty bad so far this year, Rohrer has some good news for our furry friends: “Most dogs are making a full recovery.”

However, Rohrer emphasizes that if you’re dog is sick please keep them at home.