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Protecting Your Dog from the Mysterious Respiratory Infection Sweeping the Country

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Sick Dog in Bed
Sick Dog In Bed

Just like humans, our dogs are also susceptible to respiratory illnesses. Recently, a new and potentially life-threatening mysterious respiratory infection has been spreading among dogs in different parts of the country. This new infection is called Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). While it begins as a simple cough, it can develop into potentially fatal pneumonia-like symptoms. ""It's kind of presented as three respiratory presentations in dogs. One being a chronic low-grade bronchitis. One being a chronic pneumonia that's not responding to the typical antibiotics and then a severe acute pneumonia where they rapidly decline," said Dr. Kayleen Gloor."(1)

Cases of the disease have been reported in Oregon, Indiana, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, and throughout the Northeast, with veterinarians still trying to determine the best treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss preventive measures to protect your pet dogs from CIRDC.

Any dogs boarding or day-caring with us should steer clear of dog parks and other kennels for two at least two weeks before their stay.

This protects our dogs and yours too. Whenever you decide to board your dog or send them to our day-care, it's important to ensure that you avoid other kennels, dog parks & day care, for two weeks before the visit. This is because these places usually have multiple dogs under one roof, and if one of them is infected with CIRDC, it can easily spread to other dogs. Oganisms that cause kennel cough can be shed in a dog’s respiratory secretions for up to 14 days after their clinical signs resolve.

Keep your dog current on all of their vaccines.

Vaccinating your pet dog is one of the best ways to protect them from various diseases, including CIRDC. Make sure that your dog is up to date with all of their vaccines, as this can prevent them from contracting other infections.

If your dog frequents the groomer, pick a facility that has a documented cleaning protocol for the area.

If your dog gets groomed regularly, it's important to choose a facility that has proper cleaning protocols in place. This is because grooming salons usually have multiple dogs coming in and out, and this can raise the risk of your dog contracting CIRDC. Surfaces can also become contaiminated and also become a vehicle for infection. Choose a facility that maintains a clean and hygienic environment and documents their cleaning protocol.

Avoid community dog bowls when out and about town.

During walks or while out and about in the community, it's crucial to avoid sharing community dog bowls. While it is a nice gesture, if a dog that is infected with CIRDC has used the bowl, it will likely spread the virus to other dogs that use the same bowl. As a responsible dog owner, it's best to carry your own water and feeding bowls.

Consider giving your dog a daily vitamin to boost their immune system.

A healthy immune system can help your dog fight off infections and diseases. Even if your dog is on a high quality food, supplementation is usually a good idea. Consult with your vet and consider giving your dog a daily vitamin supplement that will boost their immune system and help prevent them from getting sick. A well-nourished immune system can help your dog fight off viral infections like CIRDC.

At Hunter Mill Retrievers, we give our dogs the following supplements daily: Thorne Vet Canine Basic Nutrients & Thorne Vet Super EPA-VET.

To bolster your dog's immune system, it is recommended to provide the following essential vitamins and nutrients either through food, dog supplements, or snacks:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Vitamin A

  • B Vitamins

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin E

  • Probiotics

  • Phytogenics

  • Prebiotics

  • Probiotics

  • Zinc

Provide Plenty of Fresh Water in Clean Bowls

Ensuring your dog has access to fresh, clean water is crucial for their well-being. By regularly cleaning and refreshing their water bowl, you can protect them from harmful bacteria. A clean bowl keeps their immune system strong as it will not be unnecessarily fighting the germs that build up on dirty bowls.. It's important to provide an adequate amount of water to keep your dog hydrated, typically around one ounce per pound of body weight each day.

Clean Your Dogs Bowl

In short, dirty bowls are harbingers of bacteria. Why stress their immune system unnecessarily? We can not control every avenue of exposure to bacteria and viruses, but clean food bowls are one area that we can manage, You can read more about the health risks posed by dirty food bowls here.

Keep Your Dog Active with Walks and Play

Exercise is important for overall health, for our dogs just as much as for us! An active dog has a stronger immune system than a sedentary dog. The best ways to boost their physical activity? Walking your dog for at least 30 minutes every day and playing with your dog. Any aerobic exercise that makes your dog pant is good physical activity, whether that is playing:

  • Fetch

  • Jumping

  • Swimming

  • Running

And getting out with your dog is beneficial to you too. Human physical activity is 57%-77% higher for dog owners.

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex can be a scary condition, but there are things you can do to help protect your dog. Make sure that your dog is up to date on all of their vaccinations, maintain a healthy diet, avoid community dog bowls, supplement their immune system, give them access to water from clean bowls, regular exercise and choose groomers and boarding facilities that maintain a clean and hygienic environment. By following these simple preventative measures, you can help protect your beloved pet from CIRDC and other respiratory diseases.

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1 commentaire

Betsy Woudenberg
Betsy Woudenberg
26 nov. 2023

Great advice, Victoria -- thank you!

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