In an effort to help our clients as much as possible regarding the recent reports of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD) we will keep updates on this page.
What we know:
State veterinarians, initially in four states, and the media reported that they are investigating cases of more difficult to treat respiratory diseases in dogs. News reports have spread to suggest that these cases may be all over the country but it is unclear if this is truly the case. These cases have been characterized by some of the following:
- Severe acute pneumonia, not responsive to abs
- Persistent cough despite treatment (6 weeks)
These cases do not seem to be associated with known canine respiratory pathogens.
The exact causative agent has not been determined (bacterial or viral).
What we do not know:
Whether or not these cases are all the same causative agent
How contagious it is
How often it results in illness if contracted
If or when this may be seen in Maryland/our area, and if so, who will really be at risk
Please understand, there is no formal infectious disease surveillance program for canine diseases and pathogens. This means that a lot of the data that is needed to answer the questions every pet owner has is not available.
Media reports and anecdotal information are filling this void. It is impossible to know how much of the information from these sources is correct. We are currently cautious but not excessively worried about this problem in our patient population at this time.
What we recommend to our clients and patients
Don’t panic, despite the news reports we do not have any reason to think the world is any more dangerous than it was a month ago.
Highest risk areas for any infectious respiratory disease are group housing situations. Use caution if you visit these environments.
Do not take your pet to group environments if they are showing any signs of respiratory disease (coughing, nasal congestion).
If visiting these environments be sure to vaccinate for those things that can be vaccinated for to limit any problems.
Seek veterinary care if your pet is acting sick/showing signs of respiratory problems.
While there is a concern that there may be a more problematic respiratory disease that is yet to be identified it is important to note that, in our opinion, there is not an overall increase in prevalence of respiratory cases in this area at this time–in other words there is not an “outbreak” spreading around.
If you are interested in reading more check out this article that is a good review of our current thoughts.