We know that human illnesses can become resistant to vaccinations, but this is, unfortunately, becoming an issue for dogs as well.
Veterinarians in British Columbia, Canada, are warning dog owners after they have seen a significant jump in the number of vaccine-resistant kennel cough cases. In these new cases, the specific strain of bacteria seems to be resistant to the traditional vaccine for kennel cough, suggesting a genetic change has taken place in the virus.
What is especially concerning for dog owners is that this shift means that even dogs who had been vaccinated are at risk of contracting it.
Canine infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as Bordetella or kennel cough, is a highly contagious bacterial infection. Dogs who have contracted kennel cough develop a persistent, dry cough, which sounds as if they are trying to clear their throat.
Aside from the unpleasant cough, dogs with kennel cough eat, drink, and play normally. However, increased levels of exercise or excitement can make the cough worse and the infection makes dogs more susceptible to secondary infections.
As this infection is highly contagious between dogs, the number of cases has been rising rapidly. For clinics in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas of British Columbia, it's now common to see upwards of 16 vaccine-resistant kennel cough cases each day.
Until this outbreak is under control, veterinarians are urging dog owners to be vigilant about monitoring who their dog is playing with and to contact their vet immediately if they think their dog may have contracted kennel cough.