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28 July 2015

LET’S TALK ABOUT KENNEL COUGH

A new YouGov survey on kennel cough, also known as Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD), commissioned by MSD Animal Health, the manufacturers of NOBIVAC® KC, has revealed that 41% of owners said their vet had not discussed kennel cough vaccination at the time their dog was vaccinated. A further 21% could not recall if their vet did or did not talk to them about kennel cough vaccination. Yet 43% of owners whose dog had contracted kennel cough considered the impact on the health of their dog to be severe.

The 2015 YouGov MSD Animal Health NOBIVAC® KC Survey of dog owners was a repeat of the same survey carried out in 2009 and 2012 so the figures revealed some useful comparisons for vets to consider, particularly in terms of gaps in communications between vets and owners, leading to misinformed perceptions.

While awareness of the disease is high (88% of dog owners surveyed), 82% of respondents continue to feel that a dog is most likely to catch it in a boarding kennel. 41% of respondents were also unaware that kennel cough requires a vaccine which is additional to the normal annual booster.

Amanda Melvin, Senior Product Manager for NOBIVAC® KC, at MSD Animal Health comments: “Our survey clearly shows a communications gap, and an opportunity missed, between vets and dog owners. While their clients are aware of the severity of the disease, vets are missing out on the chance to talk to owners about kennel cough when they do provide core vaccinations and boosters. This is a great opportunity for veterinary nurses to play a role in informing clients on the importance of kennel cough vaccination. Research that we completed in 2009 revealed that an incredible 90% of vets had seen cases of kennel cough in the last year which suggests that it just isn’t being talked about enough. Veterinary nurses can help fill the communications gap and avoid the risk of a disease that is very distressing for both the dog and the owner.”

Kennel cough is one of the most common significant infectious syndromes of dogs in the UK, accounting for an estimated 44,000 cases seen in practice per year1 and exposure to respiratory pathogens can occur anywhere dogs mix. In a survey of practices 41% of recent cases were suspected to have been the result of exposure to outside kennels2 yet half of all dog owners did not recall advice to vaccinate against kennel cough when boarding their dogs3.

1.Estimate of affected dogs in practice based on extrapolation of CICADA UK survey disease reports to April 2015. 2.Suspected source of outbreaks reported during telephone interviews with veterinary practices during November 2009. 3.YouGov survey of dog owners, March 2012.

About MSD Animal Health Today's MSD is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. MSD Animal Health, known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of MSD. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.msd-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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