"All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.” Cecil Francess Alexander 17273 West Edwards Road, Antioch, Illinois 847-395-0554 847-395-5855 fax DIARRHEA Diarrhea is uncommon at our kennel but it does occur. Although most dogs never get  diarrhea while being boarded, others get it every time they are boarded. Occasionally a  dog that has had firm stools here will get diarrhea when he/she returns home. Diarrhea  can be very stressful and annoying for you as a pet owner and understanding the possible causes can help you prevent it both at home and in the kennel.  So what can cause the  sudden onset of gastric distress and what can you do to prevent it? Stress Related Diarrhea: We believe that the most common cause of diarrhea is  “Stress.” This cause of diarrhea most frequently occurs with dogs who have never been  boarded or who are infrequently boarded. The sudden change in the dog’s routine can  cause gastric distress. This is also why dogs that have had firm stools here may develop  diarrhea when they return home. It is the change in environment that causes the stress  and does not mean that your dog was miserable or “stressed out” in the kennel.   In fact,  dogs who kennel very well, eat with great gusto and are happy and enthusiastic  “campers” seem to be the most prone to developing a mild case of diarrhea.  Dietary Change: Another cause of diarrhea is due to a sudden change in diet. This  sudden dietary change is compounded by the stress of being boarded and the result can  be diarrhea. This type of diarrhea upon returning home is most common in dogs eating  foods at home which contain corn or wheat.  We feed a diet free of these ingredients and  the re-introduction of corn and wheat into the diet often causes gastric upset as many  dogs have some degree of sensitivity to these ingredients.  If your dog does experience  diarrhea upon returning home, we strongly advise sending your dog’s own food on future  visits as this type of diarrhea can usually be avoided by providing us with your dog’s food.   We do not charge for feeding your pet’s regular diet and are happy to follow your feeding  instructions. Coccidia: Coccidia are parasites that live within the cells of a wide variety of  domesticated species, typically inhabiting the intestines where they may cause diarrhea.  Coccidia infection is extremely common, found world-wide and is most often subclinical  (showing no signs of illness) in healthy adult animals. Infected, dogs and cats can which  otherwise show no symptoms may exhibit diarrhea during times of stress .  This is less  common in healthy adult dogs with strong immune systems but can be more of a concern  in young dogs or elderly dogs or in dogs which are immino-compromised.    Giardiasis: Giardiasis is another common canine intestinal infection caused by a parasitic  protozoan (single celled organism). These protozoans are found in the intestines of many  animals, including dogs and humans. This microscopic parasite clings to the surface of the  intestine, or floats free in the mucous lining the intestine. Veterinary research documents  suggest that 5% to 10% of all dogs in North America have giardiasis at any given time.  Surveys also show that about 14% of the adult dog population and over 30% of dogs  under one year of age were infected at some point during their life, and thus contributed  to passing along this intestinal infection to other dogs. Other research suggests that 50%  of puppiess, and 10% of well-cared for dogs carry giardia though most adult dogs do not  show any symptoms.  Giardiasis is most often associated with ingesting contaminated  water which may be found in lakes, ponds, streams or even puddles.   If anything other than mild diarrhea which resolves in 24-48 hours is noticed  during boarding your veterinarian will be contacted and treatment guidelines will  be followed. You will be informed of your veterinarian recommended treatment at  the time of checkout. If diarrhea should occur after you return home be sure to  tell your veterinarian that your dog was recently boarded with us. Given that the  strict guidelines are followed for daily cleaning and disinfecting of our kennel, it  is unlikely that the diarrhea is caused by something other than dietary changes  and stress.  KENNEL COUGH (see also the excellent article on Kennel Cough written by Dr.  Ron Hines)  It is important that all clients are made aware that Kennel Cough is present always in  Illinois and DOES NOT ORIGINATE IN A KENNEL.   We absolutely WILL NOT allow dogs in our facility that are coughing or showing signs of  kennel cough. However, it may be IMPOSSIBLE for us to tell when a boarder has been  exposed to kennel cough PRIOR to his/her arrival.  Infected dogs may shed the disease  for weeks before or after being infected and the infection generally manifests 2-10 days  after exposure. We also require that all dogs that enter our kennel have been properly vaccinated and  that the owners provide us with written proof. Records must be updated annually. Kennel Cough, akin to a “doggy cold,” is a generic term used to indicate canine infectious  tracheobronchitis, a highly infectious upper respiratory disease that is caused from a  number of bacteria such as Bordetella bronchiseptica, and viruses such as canine  parainfluenza. Coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge are common symptoms of kennel  cough. These symptoms can last from a few days to several weeks. Since it is most often  a viral infection, there is no "cure," just as there is no cure for the common cold. As a  self-limiting disease, it will almost always go away on its own, just like any other cold or  flu. However, many veterinarians will prescribe a cough suppressant or an antibiotic to  prevent secondary infections. Kennel cough is not "born" in the kennel, it can be (and usually is) "caught" outside the  kennel and brought in by a boarder. A dog can be exposed at the park, grooming shop,  pet store, veterinary office, walking around the neighborhood, or any place where dogs  congregate or pass through. The disease is not unique to a kennel, therefore; the more  appropriate term is CANINE COUGH. Unfortunately, canine cough usually does not show  visible symptoms for 2-10 days after exposure. While we make intense efforts to prevent  an outbreak in our kennel through extensive cleaning and disinfecting, public awareness,  and by requiring vaccinations, we cannot guarantee that your dog will not be exposed.  Just as a child who attends school has the potential to contract a cold or the flu, which is seasonal, any dog being boarded has the potential to contract canine cough, which is also seasonal. When a child gets a cold or the flu parents do not expect the school system to  pay for treatment. FLEA CONTROL  Because we monitor and inspect the pets coming into our facilities and grounds, we have  never had a flea infestation on the premises. Therefore, it is very unlikely that your dog  will become infested with fleas while being boarded at our kennel. However, it is still a  great idea to maintain your dog on a monthly flea / tick prevention program.  During tick  season we require that any dog who will be participating in group play-times or walks be  on a monthly, “spot-on” flea and tick preventative such as Frontline.  These are excellent  products and will ensure that you will never have to deal with the trauma of fleas or ticks  on your pet. DOG INJURIES AND ILLNESSES  If your dog becomes ill or injured while being boarded with us we will, at our sole  discretion, engage the services of your veterinarian. Any expenses incurred as a result of  veterinarian services must be paid at the time of check out. While we make every effort  to ensure that our kennel is a safe place for even the most exuberant dog, we will not be  held liable in the event that your dog injures itself.   GERIATRIC / ILL DOGS  Over the years we have had many clients who have boarded geriatric dogs or dogs that  are in failing health due to kidney failure, cancer or similar illnesses. In each situation we  have felt that it was important to ask the question, “What do you want us to do if your  dog should pass away?” While it would be an unfortunate situation if a geriatric dog were  to pass away while being boarded, however, it is a real possibility. Should the situation  arise we feel that it is extremely important that we know exactly what the owner wants us to do.  We also highly recommend that you provide both us and your veterinarian with  precise instructions as to how you with any life-threatening situation to be handled in the  event that we are unable to contact you immediately.  This is one of those things that is  very difficult to think about but is very important so that your pet can be treated in the  most humane and dignified manner while they are in our care.   ADMINISTERING MEDICATIONS We will administer veterinarian prescribed medications to your dog as part of our daily  kennel routine. We do not charge extra for the administration of any medications since we believe that is part of caring for your pet. However, we do ask that you provide the name  and dosage of each medication being given so that we are able to convey this information to the veterinarian in an emergency situation.  If your dog is on a complex regimen of  various medications, we request that you bring the medications in a daily pill dispenser  such (such as those used by people) divided into separate sections for each day an each  time the medications are to be given.  No matter how hard any kennel owner tries, life at a boarding kennel is not the same as life at home.  Life at the kennel is filled with new faces, excitement and a change in routine.  Most dogs, and especially dogs boarded often at a familiar kennel with familiar people, enjoy the extra excitement and attention they receive at the kennel and it is actually very rare for dogs to be uncomfortable or unduly stressed in our kennel.  If you dog does appear to be unhappy or uncomfortable during their stay with us we will discuss their behavior with you so that you can determine whether another type of care may better meet your particular pet’s needs.  Even pets who adapt well to the boarding kennel environment is subject to the stress of changes in daily routine and changes in diet both when coming into the kennel and when returning home.  Some pets may act differently in the kennel than they do at home.  A finicky dog may become a voracious eater, a hearty eater may become finicky while in the kennel.  Some dogs may chew up favorite toys or bedding.  Every dog is an individual and there is no set rule for how a dog will react to the kennel environment.  We appreciate you taking the time to contact us about any concerns you may have when your dog returns home.  It is only through knowledge about your dog and your dog’s individual needs that we can provide the best possible boarding experience for your dog. Of great concern to both you and us is keeping your dog both safe and healthy while they are with us.  It is important for everyone to realize that just like sending a child to nursery school or camp, coming to a kennel exposes your dog not only to new people and new activities but also to other unfamiliar dogs and potentially to illness or injury.  Though we work hard to maintain the most sanitary conditions in our kennels, disinfect the facilities on a daily basis, inspect all guests for potential illnesses when they enter the kennel, and remove any guest which shows signs of illness from the guests, it is important to remember that like other areas frequented by many dogs (grooming salons, veterinarians office, doggy play parks and even city sidewalks) there is always a risk of an illness being transmitted to your dog or of your dog becoming ill or being injured while in the kennel.