There have been reports about an outbreak of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease in the news recently, and we have been getting many questions from our clients. Cases have been reported all over the United States, and recently in Maryland. Many of these cases are being classified as Atypical CIRD because they do not appear to be the usual type that we see. The infectious agent causing these Atypical CIRD cases is still not know but is under investigation–it may be a new unknown pathogen, a new version of a current disease or a combination of all the above. Atypical CIRD can affect both vaccinated and unvaccinated dogs and many of these cases are negative on routine respiratory disease testing. Signs of Atypical CIRD range from progressive coughing, ocular and/or nasal discharge and can rapidly progress. Cases appear to fall within three clinical syndromes:
–Chronic mild tracheobronchitis with a prolonged duration of 6-8 weeks that is poorly or non-responsive to antibiotics
–Chonic pneumonia that is poorly or non-responsive to antibiotics
–Acute pneumonia that rapidly becomes severe and often leads to poor outcomes in as little as 1-2 days
So what can you do to protect your dog?
—Avoid contact with at-risk dogs in places such as dog parks, day care, boarding, dog shows and groomers unless limited to a stable group of healthy dogs
—Keep you pet up-to-date on vaccinations, especially for Distemper, Kennel Cough and Canine Influenze.
— Dogs showing respiratory signs need to be promptly isolated.
—if your dog shows signs of not eating, trouble breathing, continual coughing and/or extreme lethargy, they should be seen right away as Atypical CIRD can progress very rapidly.
NOTE: Veterinary Clinics will be working to reduce exposure of these cases to other patients, and they will likely be recommending more diagnostics than usual in these cases as PCR testing needs to be submitted within the first 4 days of the disease. Also note that antibiotics may have no or minimal effect on these cases, and they may take weeks to months to resolve.
If you have questions about your dog, feel free to call our office, but remember that we have limited information and answers to all of the questions that you have. We will be evaluating our diagnostic, treatment and isolation protocols, so please keep this in mind.