What is a Mutt Mixer? It is an event put on by our local humane society here in Lawrence where the public is invited to bring their dog over for some outdoor fun. Our dogs and adoptable dogs hang out in one of several large fenced areas. Everyone has a good time socializing. We people get to ‘mix’ with other dog people while the dogs ‘mix’ with one another. This event gives the adoptable dogs get a chance to get out of their pens, practice their socialization skills, and show off their cuteness in hopes of getting adopted.
Maya came with me to this recent event and had a great time. She loves socializing with other dogs and with people too. I had a good time as well for the same reasons. Unfortunately, Maya started showing symptoms of a doggy cold about a week later. I’m not sure if she caught it at the Mutt Mixer or not, but the vet seems to think so. Fortunately, it is not serious. She just has a slight runny nose and sneezes from time to time. She is almost over it, but now Pierson has it.
We were warned at the Mutt Mixer that although the humane society is not currently having issues with bordetella, there is still a possibility of it. Bordetella often happens when you get a large group of dogs together, even if you take all the precautions and keep the facility clean (as our humane society does). I signed a waiver saying I understood this. Before I attended the event with Maya, I also confirmed with my vet that she was up to date on her bordetella vaccination. So I don’t blame the humane society in any way for Maya getting sick.
What is bordetella? I call it a doggy cold. Like our common cold, there are many strains. So even though Maya had a bordetella vaccine, she still caught it because it was a different strain. Like our common cold, it is relatively mild and doesn’t last long. Also, like our common cold, it is harder on the young and old and it can be complicated if there are other health concerns. And like our common cold, the symptoms can vary. Mild symptoms include coughing, sneezing, or runny nose. More concerning symptoms include fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, or even pneumonia. Maya has visited the vet and she does not have any of the more severe symptoms. Read more about bordetella, or kennel cough, on PetMD.
If having large groups of dogs together increases the likelihood of someone contracting bordetella, this means Mayta could just as easily get it at the dog park or doggy day care. I’m interested in knowing what you think of our Mutt Mixer event. Do you think Maya might have gotten sick from it? Would it make me irresponsible to take her to the next Mutt Mixer event in July? What are your thoughts?
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