In the last few months there has been growing concern of the emergence of a viral respiratory disease in dogs. The number of actual cases has been quite small, relative to the dog population, and predominate on the West coast of the United States. (very few “POSSIBLE” cases have been reported in the Northeast)
Please read the information below for a summary of what is currently known.
Should Dog Owners Be Worried?
We suggest caution rather than worry. The number of cases reported represents a very small percentage of the dog population.
Periodic outbreaks of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) can occur in a dog population. At least nine different known bacteria and viruses have been linked as causes of CIRDC, which is transmitted by respiratory droplets. Infection with more than one bacterial or viral agent is common. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nasal and/or eye discharge, and lethargy. If your dog shows these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. We encourage you to speak to your veterinarian about what vaccines are appropriate for your dog. These may include canine influenza, Bordetella and parainfluenza.
General suggestions for dogs attending events or situations with a group of other dogs include:
- Make sure all dogs are up-to-date on all their vaccines including canine influenza, Bordetella and parainfluenza.
- Please consult with your veterinarian for dog-specific advice before attending any events where dogs are congregated.
Periodic outbreaks of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) can occur in a dog population and some cases can be serious. Transmitted by respiratory droplets, both viruses and bacteria can cause CIRDC.
Because of the broad spectrum of potential respiratory diseases, there is no one size-fits-all recommendation, and working with a veterinarian is the best way to ensure that owners have accurate information that is appropriate for their situation.
CIRDC cases more commonly occur in animals housed in settings such as shelters, boarding, or training facilities rather than in animals housed in private homes, especially those with limited access to other dogs.
Veterinarians treat cases according to the dog's symptoms and severity of symptoms. Treatment may include antibiotics. Most dogs, especially those vaccinated against respiratory illness, experience a mild illness.
Symptoms of CIRDC include coughing, sneezing, nasal and/or eye discharge, and lethargy. If your dog shows these symptoms, please check with your veterinarian.
Dog owners can help protect their pets from respiratory illnesses in general by:
- Reducing contact with large numbers of unknown dogs. Just like with other respiratory pathogens, the more contacts your dog has, the greater the risk of encountering a dog that’s infectious
- Reducing contact with sick dogs. This can be harder to determine but if a dog looks sick (coughing, runny nose, runny eyes), keep your dog away from it.
- Keep sick dogs at home and seek veterinary care.
- Avoid communal water bowls shared by multiple dogs.
- Ask your veterinarian for advice on which vaccinations your dog should have.
We will be sure to update our information and communication as more
details become available.
Thank you for choosing Glastonbury Animal Hospital for your pet’s care.