Hi Kris -
I happen to have a dog who is in the midst of kennel cough. We attended the recent OC Expo Splash Dogs event during the obscene 95-degree weather and the week afterwards she started showing signs. We are out training and trialing more than we're not, so there's no way to know how she could've been exposed or what exact stressors made her susceptible. Emmy's never been sick in her 3-1/2 years, so other than a difficult training session (in a scent class no less) the week prior, then tweaking her neck the weekend of diving on a hot-hot-hot weekend, I'm kind of at a loss.
I was wondering if an assault on a dog's nasal passages thru accidentally inhaling water (thru a bad dock jump) could've had any effect? Since the “mucociliary escalator” safeguard can be damaged thru stressors making a dog susceptible to bacterium, perhaps "water up the nose" could cause the same type of environment? Just curious...
My big question is how long she - and my other dogs - are contagious? (Started coughing on Thursday and today - Tuesday - no coughing so far). Neither of my others are showing any signs (knock on wood) but I have no way to separate them so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. Also, we had a bitework training at our Schutzhund club the night Emmy started coughing. (Didn't recognize it at the time.) Do we need to disinfect the sleeve? Keep it out of use for awhile? I realize KC is caused by virus and/or bacterium, but what are the recommendations for that type of thing??
FWIW, I haven't vaccinated for Bordatella for about 10 years and haven't had a case in that time despite many dog park visits and a high frequency of training/trialing in multiple venues and coming into contact with a variety of dogs. My oldest (now 12) got KC as a puppy when he and his brother were purchased from the Animal Shelter. That's a no-brainer and he's always been easily stressed anyhow. The other two came many hours by plane and/or automobile and neither have ever had it - until now. I also titre for the rest of the vaccines - except Rabies, of course. Can't wait until your study results in better Rabies vax protocols!