Kennel Cough

Unfortunately we just had a little bout of kennel cough come through the daycare.  Man oh man do I hate kennel cough.  It looks like we had about 6 cases of it.  It is always such a hard one for all of us here at K9, we feel so badly for the dogs that catch it and we feel so badly for the owners that don’t understand it.   Vets don’t seem to help us as they seem to want to sweep kennel cough under the rug or something.  This time we heard that it was ‘just an allergy’ we also heard that it wasn’t kennel cough but it was ‘congestion’ also that it was ‘bronchitis’ and in no way was it kennel cough. I don’t get that at all, but maybe it is easier than explaining to owners that the vaccines just simply do not protect the dogs 100%.

I got a call from one owner who’s dog got kennel cough.  She was extremely angry and we will never see that dog again unfortunately.   (BTW I have learned not to take that as badly as I used to take it, but it still gets to me I can’t lie.) What happened in her case was that the dog had kennel cough, they brought him to the vet and both the owner and vet decided that he was ‘choking on a bone’ and that he didn’t have kennel cough.  It is so amazing to me that the ‘choking on a bone’ diagnosis can even still happen… but who am I?!  That dog passed his KC on to two other family dogs and the owner was, for lack of a better word…. bullshit!  So naturally I have been blamed for the vets lack of a correct diagnosis to the real problem.  A true bummer for me and for the dogs.

In between getting yelled at, she told me that I should have contacted every single owner with a phone call to alert them about our exposure to kennel cough.  I told her that I would think about that and consider a different approach to letting people know.  We have done letters in the past and I found that only about 5% of the people that got the letters actually looked at them.  Now we just do the sign on the door and sometimes a notice on our daily galleries. Calling all of the active customers is probably not a realistic approach because of the sheer number, so I’m thinking about putting something together in email.  Let me know what you think.

5 replies
  1. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    I’m all for a mass emailing. Send one at the start of KC season explaining the symptoms and risks. Let the owners know that you will post notifications on the door and/or online and let them decide for themselves.

  2. kotten
    kotten says:

    I agree with Aaron. A mass emailing is quicker and easier than calling your entire client list.. especially since some of them may just be occassional users of your service. If they disregarded that note on the door that was right in front of your nose before opening it then nothing you do will make those people happy.

  3. laura
    laura says:

    Mass emailing would be fine, but the sign on the door works just as well. I understand this is like the flu and by vet explained the shot works like the flu shot in people. Abbey did catch it last year, but knock on wood she has cleared this year. When in doubt I keep her home. Thank you Anne & your staff for all you do, my “children” pull me to door each morning so you must be doing something right. Please don’t let a few “bad apples” get you down.

  4. calla1234gh
    calla1234gh says:

    So sorry Anne you went through such a drama… I think some “parents” forget that “kids” get sick/hurt sometimes. There is only so much we can do to stop it. Our dog Joey has gone to K9 Kaos for several years… He did contract the flu one time, but we never felt the day care was irresponsible in any way. It’s just one of those things! You are excellent at making sure each dog is up to date with shots, and you let us know (via signs at the door) whether the dogs have been exposed to various illnesses. I have full confidence in your team, or I wouldn’t put my beloved “son” in your care.

  5. MSutton
    MSutton says:

    I agree with Aaron, great idea. Every one of you are wonderful and do such a great job. People are amazed when I tell them our doggie daycare actually takes pictures every day and posts them for the rest of us to see what our pups are up to that morning. And there’s something to be said about, when we’ve had to call and cancel her usual daycare day a couple of times, whoever I talk to always ask if she’s OK. Wouldn’t bring our girl anywhere else!


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