Canine cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious diseases, which can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, grooming salons, doggy day care, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper.
Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is distressing for pet dogs and their owners. It is a major problem for working and sporting dogs. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.
Canine leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some areas and can cause high death rates. This bacterial disease is spread by the urine of infected rats and is usually transmitted to dogs who ingest contaminated food and water (e.g. puddles), dogs who eat rats or from rat bites.
There’s an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as in cities, near rubbish dumps or around sugar cane areas. Incidence can also increase after long periods of wet weather or building activity, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate. Leptospirosis is a ‘zoonotic disease’ meaning it is an animal disease that can be passed to humans. Human infection can occur through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or through open wounds.