Dog owners in Lawrence on watch for kennel cough

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LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Reports of more dogs coming down with a common ailment in Lawrence is putting pet owners on guard.

Kennel cough is often quickly cured and it's similar to a human cold, but people who work with dogs in Lawrence say they've heard of a higher number of cases recently.

Derek Reed would do just about anything for his Jack Russel Terriers, Bella and Watson. So when Bella started coughing a couple of weeks ago, he was concerned.

"Over time it got worse and she was up all night long, just coughing and coughing and coughing up fluids," Reed explained.

He took Bella to the veterinarian, and she was diagnosed with kennel cough.  Soon so was her brother, Watson.

"We became more concerned when Watson got it because he's usually pretty resilient and doesn't catch it," Reed explained.

Both dogs were quickly put on medicine.

"This could turn into pneumonia so we were very concerned about that," he said.

Jerri Johnson, co-owner of Wagmore Canine Enrichment, says she's seen about seven cases in her kennel so far, which is about average, but she's heard of a lot more cases recently.

"It tends to be worse in dogs that have smashed faces, so like Boxers, Pugs, those kind of dogs," Johnson said.

She requires every dog to have at least a yearly vaccine against the illness, and if a dog is sick, they're not allowed back into the kennel until they're better because kennel cough is easily spread.

The Lawrence vet we spoke with says this time of year there seem to be more cases of kennel cough due to dogs being outside in dog parks and around other dogs. She says kennel cough is often easily taken care of, but can turn more serious, even deadly. It can be similar to other infections in dogs, so they need to be checked out by a veterinarian if they seem sick.

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