Does my pet need to be vaccinated prior to boarding?
Yes, all animals must be fully vaccinated to be able to holiday or train with us. If you are unsure of your pets vaccination status please speak to your veterinarian or our friendly staff. Go to our vaccination requirements page for more info.
What do the Pets sleep on?
All pets are given freshly washed Vetbed Gold – an anti fungal/antibacterial man made material similar to sheepskin.
In the interests of all our clients, we do not accept external bedding or toys due to health reasons including: Cleaning procedures, Incoming pathogens and/or parasites and chewed toys/bedding. It’s very important that we are able to clean our kennels daily, effectively and efficiently.
Do I need to bring my pet’s own food?
All pets are fed super premium commercial food – Blackhawk for the dogs and Iams for the cats. You need to provide your pet’s food only if your pet is on a veterinarian prescribed diet or has other unusual, specific requirements. All pets will receive a meal no matter what time they arrive at our centre, so please don’t worry about feeding them before they leave home.
I have two or more Pets, can they stay together?
Yes, all our accommodation facilities are large enough to house two (or more) pets; if your dogs need separating during feeding please advise reception during check in. Larger cat families can stay together and may prefer the extra space available in our suites. Unfortunately we can not board your cat and dog together
Are the cats disturbed by the noise of the dogs?
The cat accommodation is a completely separate building away from the dogs. The cats in suites can watch the dogs arrive and leave if they wish, but they can’t easily hear or smell the dogs, nor can they get close to the dogs (or the dogs to the cats).
What if there is a emergency medical problem?
We have an on call veterinarian for the centre and there are several excellent veterinarians in close proximity, along with emergency facilities that are open all night and on holidays. We treat every guest as we do our own pets, and you may rest assured that they will receive the best attention possible.
What should I bring when checking in my pet?
All pets must be up to date on their vaccinations so please bring proof of this, payment of holiday fees are required when you check your pet(s) in. Bring any medications in their original containers with veterinarian instructions on them, any special food needed, and emergency contact details for while you are away.
When do I pay?
For the convenience of our customers, accounts are settled at check in; Payments that are accepted are: cash, eftpos, MasterCard, Visa, Amex & Diners.
What are the pick up and drop off times?
Our office opening hours are 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am – 10am & 4pm – 5pm on Saturday and 9am – 10am & 4pm – 5pm on Sunday. Our Public holidays hours are 1pm – 5pm. You can pick up/drop off any time between these hours.
West Coast’s office will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. All animals will still be cared for on these days.
Can I inspect the facilities at the centre?
You are most welcome to come and have a look before boarding your pet, please see Contact Us for Inspection Times. If you are at all concerned, inspections are recommended to set your mind at ease. We even offer a free trial for new customers, so your pet can get comfortable with their surroundings before their stay with us.
Understanding Canine Cough.
Canine Cough, also incorrectly referred to as Kennel Cough, is a very much misunderstood respiratory infection caused by an airborne virus.
What is it?
Canine Cough is known as Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis. It is an extremely contagious, upper-respiratory infection which causes tracheobronchitis (inflammation of the lining of the airways) in dogs.
How can my dog catch it?
As an airborne virus, dog’s can pick it up anywhere. These viruses can be present anywhere and travel considerable distances through the air. A dog can even pick it up from their own backyard. However, it can be likely to occur in an area with a greater concentration of dogs. This includes at the park, dog show, beach, boarding facilities, daycare facilities, veterinarian clinics, groomers, dog training areas, shelters and wherever else dogs may have access to. Dogs can also be exposed while running loose or while being walked near other dogs. Thus your dog doesn’t necessarily have to have been in kennels to contract it. Any contact with an infected dog can lead to the development of clinical signs, up to 7 days later. Also, unbeknown to owners, their dog may have picked up the strain and transmitting it to other dogs before showing any symptoms.
My dog has been vaccinated against canine cough, how can they catch it?
Canine Cough for dogs is similar to how we immunise ourselves against the flu, yet we are still susceptible to picking up the common cold. The KC in the C5 vaccination provides protection against two organisms, Parainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica. These two organisms are included in the vaccine not only because they are highly contagious, but they also result in very severe forms of the disease. Like a human flu vaccine, though, the kennel cough vaccination does not provide protection against every single respiratory infection that is out in the environment, and your dog does remain susceptible to these less serious organisms.
Vaccines against parainfluenza and adenovirus type 2 (in combination with other vaccines) are routinely used as part of an adult dog’s yearly check-up. Puppies are usually vaccinated for these in combination with distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus in a series of immunisations. It is important to note that the vaccines that are used to prevent this viral disease are made from one strain of more than 100 different strains of the virus and therefore are not as effective against some strains as others. Intra-nasal vaccines are also available for Bordetella bronchioseptica (another cause of canine cough). Although some veterinary practices do not use this intra-nasal vaccination routinely, it should be considered for pets that board or for those whose veterinarian recommends it. Your veterinarian is in the best position to recommend a program of preventive health care management depending on your pet’s needs.
Why is it sometimes referred to as Kennel Cough?
The common name is something of a misnomer, since your dog doesn’t necessarily have to have been in kennels to contract it. Any contact with an infected dog can lead to the development of clinical signs, up to 7 days later. The organisms responsible for the disease are spread through the air, so some dogs will get the infection even without leaving their own backyards. No difference with us picking up a common cold while travelling in a train during flu season, or a child bringing it home from day care. Yet we do not refer it to as “train cold” or “daycare cold”. However, due to the nature of the virus in areas of greater concentration of dogs the name has stuck.
What should I look out for?
The incubation period of the disease is roughly 3-7 days. The main symptom is a gagging cough, sometimes accompanied by sneezing and nasal discharge, which can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Although this coughing is very annoying, it does not usually develop into anything more serious. However, just as with the common cold, it can lower the dog’s resistance to other diseases thus increasing susceptibility to secondary infections, and so the dog must be observed closely to avoid complications.
Canine Cough tends to occur in bursts. There may be scores of cases over a period of a few weeks when there is an outbreak, then we may not see a case for months. It is not always the case that every dog in a household will contract the infection, however, because some dogs may have innately better immunity than others.
Due to the nature of the virus, it is highly recommended to isolate your dog from spreading the disease to others and establish a hygiene set up for yourself to prevent the spread in case you interact with other dogs.
If you suspect your dog may be showing signs, we highly recommend you booking an appointment for your dog to see your vet. Although treatment cannot cure or eliminate, it is simply aimed at controlling the symptoms while your dog recovers over time. Systemic signs such as fever, depression or lack of appetite usually only develop if secondary bacterial infections take hold. Just as in the case of the common cold, tracheobronchitis is not “cured” but must run its course. Many times antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent secondary infection. Sometimes cough suppressants will be prescribed to reduce excessive coughing, but these medications do not attack canine cough itself.
It is the boarding facilities fault?
Most pet boarding business follows many steps to help prevent the spread of canine cough but as you will read no amount of supervision, sanitation or personal care can prevent a dog from catching an airborne virus. Kennels do everything they can by sterilising and some facility’s even fog kennels with F10 that is designed to prevent and kill off a virus like canine cough. But at the end of the day, the virus is spread from pet to pet, not from the kennel. This can also be hard to detect, as you cannot see an airborne virus, and it can take up to 5 to 10 days to show any signs, which means a dog can come into a kennel with canine cough and go home before any signs have shown in the pet. Just like if your child came home from school with a cold it’s no more the fault of the school than it is the fault of a kennel should a pet get canine cough. Canine couch is much like a common cold.
No amount of supervision, sanitation, or personalised care can prevent a dog from “catching” an airborne virus. All that a good boarding kennel can do is to strongly recommend immunisation against tracheobronchitis, refuse to board any obviously sick dog, listen and watch for any signs of sickness, and make sure that any dog requiring veterinary attention receives it as quickly as possible. (Strangely, the dog with parainfluenza alone may not appear ill, yet is contagious).
What steps does West Coast Pet Care take?
We request that all owners provide accurate information in regards to any health problems or issues their pet may be having. We have isolation facilities for any dogs that may start to show signs of canine cough whilst boarding with us. West Coast pet care also follows strict handling and cleaning procedures with F10 disinfectant/sanitiser and foot baths when dealing with a pet that is showing signs of canine cough. A pet that is showing signs of canine cough, is isolated from all communal areas that other dogs use, with a specific ‘isolation’ area for themselves.
Further reading and references: