Kennel cough cases on rise in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Veterinarians are giving a heads up to pet owners; there’s an increase in the amount of dogs they’re seeing with kennel cough.

Kennel cough is a contagious viral infection in dogs characterized by a dry, hacking cough that can make it sound like they’re choking. Local veterinarians say people can protect their four-legged friends by listening to their dogs.

“If you’re going into a place -- whether it be a dog park or boarding facility -- look at the other dogs. Make sure the other dogs aren’t coughing,” says Dr. Ryan Carpenter, veterinarian with Family Friends Veterinary Hospital.

Carpenter says they had six cases in the past week. Several other offices and boarding facilities FOX 17 checked with have also reported kennel cough cases.

Vets say it’s best to get your dogs vaccinated.

“We vaccinate for a bacterial component of kennel cough, but there can be viral components and other bacterial components,” said Carpenter.

Kennel cough isn’t deadly, but in more serious cases it can lead to pneumonia.

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