Pet Vaccination

The facts about Kennel Cough (Bordetella) and Kennel Cough Protection

By Pet Treatment, Pet Vaccination

The Facts about Kennel Cough Protection

Our veterinarians have seen an increase in cases of kennel cough in dogs during October and the first part of November.

At Royal York Animal Hospital, we include immunization for kennel cough (Bordetella Bronchiseptica) as a part of our core set of vaccines for all of our canine patients.  So, at times when there is a surge in the number of dogs with kennel cough, the question arises……..: “If my pet has been vaccinated for kennel cough, then why did he/she get sick?”….

Kennel Cough Protection for Pets


The answer lies in the nature of the disease itself, and in some situations the timing of vaccination can also be an important factor.

  • Kennel cough is a SYNDROME – this means it can be caused by numerous  complex combinations of different bacteria and viruses. Every case is different. The Bordetella vaccine is specifically targeting the Bordetella bacteria which is a very important and highly-probable component of this disease, but it is not the ONLY cause.
  •  Being vaccinated each year does not mean that a pet will never get kennel cough – depending on what specific combination of  organisms are involved in their particular infection their level of protection may not be adequate to fend it off completely. Also keep in mind that some animals just inherently produce a better response to a given vaccine compared to others.
  • Timing can also be very important especially when dogs are coming in for boarding, as it impacts how effective the vaccine will be for protection. The intranasal kennel cough vaccine requires 3-5 days to be effective, and the injectible form can take a week or longer. Keep this in mind when planning your boarding visits.

We all want to do our best to prevent disease, and these are just a few important things to keep in mind when trying to keep our animals healthy and safe – especially for dogs who frequent doggy day cares or public dog parks or other places where dogs are together.

The Facts about Kennel Cough Protection

Kennel cough is very contagious between dogs.


For more information about Kennel Cough please check out Dr. Lilla Yan’s blog “Why did my Dog get Kennel Cough

Dr. Annelle Valentin

Royal York Animal Hospital, 4222 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke, Ontario L6J 3Y1 416-231-9293

reception desk

The Advantages of A Multi-Vet Veterinary Hospital in Etobicoke

By Dog Teeth Cleaning, Pet Boarding, Pet Grooming, Pet Safety, Pet Treatment, Pet Vaccination, Toronto Cats, Toronto Dogs, Toronto Pet

* Compassionate * Responsive * Proactive * Skilled *



You may think that a small veterinary practice with one veterinarian and few staff will be able provide more personal care for you and your pet. THINK AGAIN.

Royal York Animal Hospital - Etobicoke Vet Hospital

1.At Royal York Animal Hospital in Etobicoke, we encourage you to see ONE Veterinarian for CHECKUPS, VACCINATIONS and any other WELL PROCEDURES. We recognize that it is important to have a trusting relationship and your pet to bond with an individual doctor. (we can help you choose the best fit). This veterinarian is your “ Pet’s family doctor”. It is simple to book all your appointments with this veterinarian and there is lots of choice of times as all our veterinarians work varying shifts to allow morning, afternoon, evening or weekend choices.
Pet exams in Etobicoke

2. EXTENDED VETERINARY HOURS mean that WE ARE HERE WHEN YOU NEED US.  It isthe most stressful for you when your pet is ill or injured. We are open seven days a week (Monday to Friday 7am -9pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am to 5pm) Over a decade ago, we gave careful consideration to extending our hours. Our clients simply wanted us to be there when their pets were sick and injured. We wanted that too. In the year 2000 we built and moved into our new state of the art hospital (which is located behind where the old building was). We are fully staffed and open every day except statutory holidays. Longer hours require more staff to fill those hours!

3. WE KNOW YOUR PET no matter when you bring him in. If you pet is ill or injured you can be bring your pet to a familiar hospital where all your pet’s medical records are at our staff’s fingertips. The staff will recognize and welcome you and your pet will be less traumatized……even if it is Sunday afternoon or Thursday evening or 7am on Monday morning. We have been told that it is extremely comforting when a pet is ill to see a familiar face and to know that treatment and care is seamless between doctors and staff.

Best Vets in Etobicoke

4. NEED A SECOND OPINION FROM A VET? Two (or three!) heads are better than one. Our Etobicoke veterinarians and technicians are always eager to lend a hand to each other and to offer advice to benefit the pets in our care. Each day during “rounds” the doctors discuss the plan of each hospitalized patient in our care with the other doctors. Pet x-rays, blood work and all diagnostics are reviewed and discussed. The original treatment plan is  agreed to by all or amended after the discussion. We believe that this communal approach to medicine offers your pet the very best in veterinary care and keeps our veterinarians learning and sharing with each other all the time.

pet xrays in etobicoke

5. EVERYTHING UNDER ONE ROOF. We recognize all our clients lead busy lives. That is why we “PROVIDE ALL THE SERVICES YOU NEED FOR THE LIFE OF YOUR PET

6. Boarding and Professional Grooming for dogs and cats available 7 days a week.

We are Your Veterinary Medical Health Care Team!

Dr. Lilla Yan

Why Did My Dog Get Kennel Cough?

By Pet Treatment, Pet Vaccination

Have you ever wondered why your dog got kennel cough but may have already had the Kennel Cough Vaccination (Bordatella)? Royal York Animal Hospital sees Kennel Cough pretty commonly these days.  This increase is most likely because dogs are increasingly more “social”  often congregating with their owners at dog parks or doggy day care centres. We often even hear of and can pinpoint “outbreaks”  in certain Etobicoke dog parks or communities as they are happening.


The question that we hear the most is  “Why did my dog get kennel cough even though he/she had the kennel cough vaccine?”  I will try to explain this!

What is Kennel Cough (bronchotracheitis)

Kennel cough (bronchotracheitis) is a group of diseases caused by 12-15 pathogens. Most of these are viruses while a few of them are bacteria. All of these pathogens can cause bronchotracheitis, i.e. upper respiratory infection, and many of them make dogs cough. Some of these pathogens are quite contagious, and therefore dogs that go to day care, groomers, boarding kennels may contract them if another dog is carrying it.

How to Prevent Kennel Cough

The difficult part about preventing kennel cough is that there are only vaccines for two of these pathogens. No vaccines are available for the other pathogens. This is similar to flu shots in people, where only certain strains are in the protective vaccine and therefore the vaccine doesn’t prevent people from getting other strains. However, dogs can get multiple pathogens during a kennel cough episode, so dogs that are vaccinated tend to get milder symptoms as they are protected against the strains they’re vaccinated for.  This is why we recommend vaccinating.

Get Your Pet Examined for Kennel Cough

If your dog is coughing excessively, the first step is to have them examined by a veterinarian, as kennel cough is not the only cause of coughing. If Kennel Cough is diagnosed it often can be managed with just cough suppressants that make them feel better and more comfortable. Most of the causes of kennel cough are viruses and antibiotics do not kill viruses so that is why antibiotics may not be prescribed.  However, in some cases antibiotics would be indicated if the doctor felt there was another concern or individual need for that dog.

It’s common that Kennel Cough takes 2-3 weeks for dogs to recover from.  Because Kennel Cough is contagious it is recommended that they don’t meet other dogs during this period of time.

Dr. Lilla Yan

John with Yorki (tech student Rachel's dog)

Dog Attack……both Owner and their pet dog were bitten

By Cat vaccinations, Pet Vaccination, Uncategorized, Vaccinations, Vaccines and Exams, Veterinary Exams

Several days ago, Penny, a seven year old female Papillon, was being leash walked by her owner when out of no where, a 70lb Labrador Retriever appeared and within a few seconds had picked Penny up in his mouth and was shaking her.

Penny’s distraught owner tried to frantically pry her small dog from the Lab’s mouth, and was successful, but Penny received two puncture wounds and bruising to her lower back.  During the rescue, the owner inadvertently was also bitten by the panicked Penny.

Penny was rushed to RYAH for treatment where her wounds were shaved, cleaned and sutured and she received antibiotics and pain medication.  With her resting comfortably and her medical needs attended to, the staff then directed their attention to gathering information about the circumstances and the other dog in question.

Penny’s Rabies vaccination was up to date……but what about the Labrador that bit Penny?  Was that dog currently vaccinated??  Was Penny bitten by an unvaccinated dog and what were the risks if she had been?  Thankfully, we were able to get the contact information from the Labrador’s owner and contacted the veterinary hospital who confirmed Rabies vaccination dates.  In most bite or dog fight situation we cannot prove Rabies vaccination dates usually due to the fact that a medical emergency is being dealt with and often proper contact information is not exchanged about the dogs involved.  In the absence of information, a veterinarian has to assume that the other dog was unvaccinated and treat their patient accordingly.

When a HUMAN has suffered a dog bite there are further rules to follow.  Since Penny’s owner was bitten by her own dog, who was current on her rabies vaccination, she does not have to worry about Rabies.  However, if she had been bitten by the other dog and we had not been able to verify that the dog was up to date on its rabies vaccine it would have been a different story.

It is a veterinarian’s responsibility to advise any person who has been bitten by her own or any other dog to seek immediate medical care as a dog’s mouth is very dirty and bacteria can easily be transferred to the person causing infection.  Antibiotic therapy would likely be recommended for the person too.  The physician, in turn, is obligated to report any bites to a Public Health Officer.  A bite involving a vaccinated dog……in Penny’s case….means an in-home quarantine for about ten days with limited people contact.  A bite involving an unknown or an unvaccinated dog involves a much more involved process for both the dog (if it is ever identified) and the person who was bitten.

I am happy to report that Penny and her owner are recuperating nicely!

Dr. John


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