There have been recent reports in the media of an “atypical canine infectious respiratory disease” with signs of sneezing, coughing, ocular discharge and lethargy. Affected dogs have been found in New Hampshire, the Midwest, Oregon and Washington and have been largely limited to upper respiratory signs.
There are numerous bacteria and viruses that are known to work alone or together to cause what veterinarians commonly refer to as Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex. Thus far, none of the known infectious agents including Canine Influenza Virus have been isolated from affected dogs.
The doctors at Maple Leaf Veterinary Care Center have not yet diagnosed any of their patients with this possibly new pathogen and it appears to not be present at significant levels in Washington State. According to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory there have been no deaths in Washington from this new agent.
Our doctors will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as the situation evolves. Meanwhile, what can you do while we learn more about this pathogen? Make sure your dog is up to date with its vaccines including for Bordetella and Parainfluenza. While Canine Influenza Virus has not been isolated from affected dogs, Maple Leaf Veterinary Care Center does have this vaccine available for those dog owners who wish to have their dogs vaccinated for it.
Additionally, depending upon your degree of concern: Consider alternatives to large-group boarding situations and measure the benefits of dog park exercise with the potential risk of exposure to potentially sick dogs. Avoid sharing of water bowls among large number of dogs of unknown health. Have your dog examined by our doctors if it is exhibiting signs of respiratory or other illness.