The American Veterinary Medical Association is monitoring canine respiratory disease cases across the United States.
The exact number of his cases Canine infectious respiratory disease complex According to the AVMA, (CIRDC) is unclear. However, several states are still dealing with sick pets — including Florida.
The Miami-Dade County Department of Animal Services issued one. Precautionary advice in November 2023, after the Oregon Department of Agriculture documented hundreds of cases of the disease since mid-August.
The AVMA also noted that there are no indications of a link between these CIRDC cases and the outbreak of Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus — that allegedly Three young dogs died at a Palm Beach County animal shelter..
Regardless, experts are sharing signs to look for ways to keep your pet safe during this dangerous time, especially since dogs are more social during the holidays.
Watch for signs
The illness usually begins with a cough that can last for weeks to months — which appears to be resistant to antibiotics.
Other symptoms include sneezing, trouble breathing, discharge from the eyes or nose, red eyes, blue or purple gums, as well as unusually low energy or fatigue.
It’s important to note that in this case — they won’t even test positive for common causes of canine respiratory disease.
In some dogs, the cough associated with this respiratory infection can lead to pneumonia, which can be potentially fatal.
Keep your dog away from other dogs
It’s most common in dogs that have recently spent time with other dogs, such as in a kennel or doggy daycare, according to Dr. Lindsey Genzer, a veterinarian at North Springs Veterinary Referral Center. Dogs with small udders, such as pugs and bulldogs, may also be at higher risk.
Because your pet may be more likely to contract the disease from other dogs, experts recommend avoiding places like dog parks, groomers or boarding kennels.
Alternative options for grooming can be reliable mobile dog groomers, as these services are often one-on-one and do not require socialization with other pets.
If you’re traveling, try to avoid dog hotels, kennels or sitters who already have dogs at home.
“If someone can just come to your house and let your dog out, that’s a better option,” Dr. Genzer added.
Some doctors are even discouraging quick greetings on the street to reduce the risk of spreading disease.
Stay updated about vaccines
AVMA President Rena Carlson said in a statement that the AVMA urges owners to keep their dogs’ vaccines up to date.
Carlson noted that while the efficacy of current vaccines against current cases is uncertain, maintaining overall health through routine vaccinations can help support a dog’s immune system in fighting disease.
The AVMA recommends the following vaccines: Bordetella, adenovirus type 2, and parainfluenza in combination with the injectable influenza H3N2 vaccine.
Owners are urged to give their pets two weeks of vaccination before any interactions, to allow immunity to develop.
What to do if your dog shows signs of illness
Early testing can help with treatment, so take your furry friend to the doctor as soon as they show signs of illness.
To avoid spreading the disease, avoid communal areas and keep your dog away from other dogs.
It should be noted that it is unlikely that humans will become ill from the respiratory disease.
However, because the cause of the illness has yet to be determined, the AVMA recommends that dog handlers wash their hands thoroughly afterward.