Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Lost in Fur Land
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So next time I decide to give back to the community someone remind me of this day...

I recently decided i wanted to give back to the shelter i found Cooper in. During training they told me there was a "Very small chance to pass disease, or sickness to your pets. But if you make sure to wash well after handling the animals it is a tiny chance." After going through the training at the shelter I started working with some of the animals. Doing basic training with them trying to get them ready for good homes. After i was done for the day i scrubbed like i was about to do brain surgery. Well, fast forward Cooper is showing signs of Kennel Cough. Cooper has kennel cough once before, while he was at the shelter and it was BAD, he was sick for weeks.

I'm mad at myself because i brought this home to him. And im just generally not a happy camper since I really wanted to give back and help other dogs find homes. But after this I wont be going back.

Its just my luck. Now im struggling to keep him and his older brother apart, since our 9 year old lab already has breathing problems.

So i guess this is just a fair warning if any of you want to help out at your local shelter... Wear a bio hazard suit!

And now a random picture of the boys.

 

·
Kye & Coops Mom
Joined
·
4,466 Posts
I am sooooo sorry and hope this isn't the case. I too work at my shelter on Wednesdays, but they always put me cleaning out the cat room! Like you, I scrub before, wear gloves to clean the litterboxes and scrub like mad afterwards. I would like to say it was for safety, but it is really to get the smell of the cats off as much of me as I can because my dogs have never been around cats before and when I go home smelling like a Kitty-Cat, my dogs are all over me trying to smell. With the cat room, everything is disinfected and new cats are isolated for a few days until the Vet pronounces them disease free and adoptable. I would hope the same is done for the dog areas too. I am sure your shelter would hate to lose a trainer, care giver such as you and hope you reconsider going back and helping after this has passed.

I would hope you aren't experiencing kennel-cough though there is a dog flu going around the Texas area right now with symptoms that resemble a kennel-cough. Keeping my fingers crossed this is just something else and not KC. You are wise to isolate the dogs until you know for sure. Good luck and let us know.

Keeping my fingers crossed for good results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
this is one of the reasons I very seldom foster rescue dogs... I have fostered one... and I was a nervous wreck that first few weeks and I KNEW his background and as much as I would like to help foster I am very reticent and nervous about introducing something to my dogs...

that having been said... you assume the kennel cough came from the shelter... but if your dog goes anywhere, dog park, petsmart, petco, anyplace... your dog could easily have picked up the kennel cough there or you could have brought it home even if your dog didn't go...

I once brought kennel cough home somehow when I had a litter of puppies who were just a couple weeks old... talk about scary... don't know where i picked it up... honestly have no idea but I did...

I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater... think of the joy you bring those dogs who don't have alot of joy...

good luck with the puppers
 

·
Lost in Fur Land
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Only reason I assume it came from the shelter is one of the dogs I have been training has KC. And Cooper hasnt been anywhere in a couple weeks. My girlfriend is a Vet Tech. So Cooper is well cared for lol. Shes gonna keep an eye on him today and if he coughs around her today. He goes straight to the clinic she works at for every test she can think of!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
now you realize that if your girlfriend is a tech she could easily have brought it home to him as well....

think of Kennel cough as a cold... thats basically what it is... of course you have to watch it and make sure it doesnt develop into anything more... it usually doesn't in mature dogs.. young pups and older ones have a harder time with it.. but its pretty much a cold...

it stinks and they sound terrible.. I remember the first time we had it I was in a hotel in montreal at a show and just about freaked and called the emergency clinic at home but it was gone in a few days no problem

recently in ran through my house... Natalie and Emmett picked it up at a show and after that five more dogs got it.. what a pain
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,628 Posts
I have fostered 50+ dogs and puppies over the last 9 years, the majority of which came from shelters and I have never had my dogs come down with KC even after being exposed to several that had it. When Jasper came to me, he had a horrible case, not only was he hacking like crazy, his nose ran like a faucet. None of my dogs caught it from him.

I am sorry your dog caught KC, the vaccine doesn't cover all strains and like the human cold, it is contagious. I hope he feels better soon. I sure hope that this doesn't keep you from volunteering in the future.
 

·
Super Moderator Leader
Joined
·
49,717 Posts
I use to help a GR Rescue with Intakes, sometimes I did temporary fostering of dogs that came from shelters or were found as strays. The Rescue strongly suggested that all volunteers who had dogs of their own, that their dogs have a current Bordetella shot prior to bringing in any dogs into their homes.

I never had any problems with my dogs getting sick either and I have had several temporary fosters in my home.
 

·
Lost in Fur Land
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Cooper should be fine. Hes young.

My girlfriend is worried about bringing something worse home then KC. The shelter we were helping is.. well ill be honest. its nasty. Its WAY over crowded. They are doing there best, but people int his community don't support them at all. They have a brand spanking new shelter about 2/3 built that you could drop the current shelter into 3 to 4 times.

Could this just be a fluke? I really want to keep helping them. I love working with the dogs, and they need a lot of training. Plus I am one of there photographers.
 

·
Super Moderator Leader
Joined
·
49,717 Posts
Cooper should be fine. Hes young.

My girlfriend is worried about bringing something worse home then KC. The shelter we were helping is.. well ill be honest. its nasty. Its WAY over crowded. They are doing there best, but people int his community don't support them at all. They have a brand spanking new shelter about 2/3 built that you could drop the current shelter into 3 to 4 times.

Could this just be a fluke? I really want to keep helping them. I love working with the dogs, and they need a lot of training. Plus I am one of there photographers.
I can so relate to what you're saying about how nasty the shelter is............. we have some of the most disgusting shelters here in my state and they are over crowded too. I don't know how some of them have been allowed to stay open they're so bad.

I've pulled dogs from shelters for the GR Rescue I use to help before they closed down earlier this year. Once I finished with the pull and transport, I'd come home and sanitize my car, wash every piece of clothing I had on.

It's so sad to see the condition of some of the shelters, I feel so bad for the animals in there. In my mind, that's even more of a reason to try and do everything you possibly can to help them get adopted.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,421 Posts
Cooper should be fine. Hes young.

My girlfriend is worried about bringing something worse home then KC. The shelter we were helping is.. well ill be honest. its nasty. Its WAY over crowded. They are doing there best, but people int his community don't support them at all. They have a brand spanking new shelter about 2/3 built that you could drop the current shelter into 3 to 4 times.

Could this just be a fluke? I really want to keep helping them. I love working with the dogs, and they need a lot of training. Plus I am one of there photographers.
It most definitely could be a fluke. It could have come from your girlfriend, from just his regular walks, from you going to the store to buy dog food without him. Or you could have brought it from the shelter.

But, keep in mind it's just a cold, he will get over it. And if you stop volunteering at the shelter that will reduce the adoptability of some of those dogs, and they could die.

As far as concern about bringing something worse home, anything else that would be contagious your dog is well protected from by his annual vaccinations. And if you give him a bordetalla vaccine every 6 months he will be, for the most part, protected from kennel cough too.

Obviously, you have to do what you decide is best for you and your dog, but I hope you won't stop volunteering at the shelter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,950 Posts
That's really shame. Are you sure that's where you picked it up? If you were scrubbing and swapping out your clothes that seems strange.

We volunteer at our local SPCA. I think we'll be more careful going forward. Hope your doggies are both OK.
 

·
Lost in Fur Land
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I cant think of anywhere else it could of come from. Cheryl and I have lived together for a year and we have never had a problem before. And then Cooper gets sick after i have been working with a dog with KC.

Shameless plug here. If anyone wants a 5 year old SUPER sweet lab mix. My coughy trainee needs a home! lol. I had to add a plug for Henry lol.

Well nevermind, looking at the shelters site it looks like he got adopted!
 

·
Super Moderator Leader
Joined
·
49,717 Posts
If you're certain Cooper got the KC from you being at the shelter, is the shelter aware of it? If not, they need to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,107 Posts
Look at it this way. I just caught a horrible cold and have been sick for 5 days. I'm blaming it on the recent air travel I made back and forth from Louisiana, but I don't know for sure if that's where I got it. Am I going to stop flying because I'm worried I'll catch a cold again? Heck no. I like traveling! If you like volunteering, I say continue with it. It's not worth letting one little bug whose origin is truly unknown deter you from helping those needy animals. I hope your pupper feels better very soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,935 Posts
If you do continue your volunteer work (which I hope you do) it's more than just washing hands. If I'm doing an intake from a less than sanitary shelter, I take disinfectant wipes for my shoes and the clothes go straight into the washing machine--it's more than just washing hands.
 

·
Kye & Coops Mom
Joined
·
4,466 Posts
Coopers Dad, this has been on my mind since you posted. Really hope you reconsider your work at the shelter. My shelter has no trainers. In a post I made a few months ago we have a really ugly dog that I asked help from others on how to teach basic commands to an adult, shy, but wonderfully loving dog, so perhaps at our big adoption in Feb, we can find a home. We are not trainers, nor behavior specialists, just people who love animals. I wish we could find someone like you to donate a few hours each week to help train us to train them.

Your talent allows the ones with no hope...a chance for that forever home. Look at it like going to a disaster area, you know the dangers, the chance of failure, but you go anyway because you know you can make a difference even to just one.

I would hate to lose such as you because of a set-back. You are needed so much.
 

·
Lost in Fur Land
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Well my girlfriend and I had a long talk last night with the Vet's at the clinic she works for. We are going to keep working with the shelter. But are just going to be more careful. The boots we wear at the shelter will be sealed up in a plastic bag when we are NOT at the shelter. And we will change clothes before we come home.

And an update on Cooper, yep its Kennel Cough. Our vet sent us home with meds to get it taken care of. I just hope our senior lab doesn't get it too. Those two are really hard to keep seperated as they love each other very much.

I was ready to give up, but hearing from the shelter one of "my" problem children got adopted yesterday made me feel really good. Ill be back at the shelter tonight. Apprently there is a big mutt (so mixed they have no idea what it is) that needs some help lol.
 

·
Missing Selka So Much
Joined
·
17,303 Posts
Sending good thoughts for your pups and glad you will still volunteer. Is there a rescue group near you that you could help? Those dogs are seen by a vet immediately (at least in our group) so we know if they have anything before they go into a foster home. But there is much more you can do to help: like home visits etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
I think it is great that you are going to keep volunteering. I also volunteer at a local shelter. I have dedicated shelter shoes that never enter my house (I actually keep them in a box so the soles don't even touch the inside of my car), and I change clothes before coming back into the house. And I give my dogs a bordatella booster every 6 months. So far, we haven't had any issues. I hope your dog's KC clears up quickly!!!!
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top