Kennel cough on the rise in QC, how you can keep your pet safe

MOLINE - Veterinarians in the Quad Cities want dog owners to beware of a highly contagious respiratory disease that's going around the area right now.

Six month old Bella loves to run. She's the first pet for Laura McCaulley's family

"My kids beg and beg and beg and I finally broke down and got a dog," said McCaulley.

She keeps a check list to make sure Bella stays a happy, healthy puppy.

"Even on my calendar I put reminders when she should be having her heart worm and her flea and tick," said McCaulley.

It's those vaccinations that can help protect Bella against diseases, especially one that's spreading around the Quad Cities right now, kennel cough.

While kennel cough isn't a new disease, recently veterinarians say they've been seeing more cases of it in the Quad Cities.

Dr. Jeremy Hoyt at City Line Veterinary Center in Moline says he's been treating a handful of cases a week.

"We have a examine rooms here that are designated for kennel cough," said Dr. Hoyt.

Kennel cough is a respiratory disease that is highly contagious, most of the time its seen in unvaccinated dogs. Symptoms can include coughing, discharge in eyes and nose and a lack of energy.

"A lot of times they`ll be shedding the virus even before owners see the clinical signs so they probably already passed that respiratory infection onto another dog," said Dr. Hoyt.

If your dog is showing any the symptoms Dr. Hoyt says you should take your dog to the vets right away so an antibiotic can be prescribed. You'll also want to give your house a deep cleaning.