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New Canine Infection Respiratory Disease - What You Need To Know

Posted by Nikki Wardle on November 22, 2023 at 2:38 PM
Nikki Wardle
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Undoubtably, you have heard through social media, national news, or local news sites that a new respiratory disease affects dogs in the Portland metro and Willamette Valley

areas of Oregon. Sadly, it has made its way here to Idaho. Our hospitals have seen an uptick in respiratory cases that have turned into pneumonia. 

What We Know About the Disease

The Oregon Department of Agriculture began receiving reports of this new disease in August 2023; since then, over 200 cases have been reported.

The cause of the disease is still unknown, but it is believed to be contagious and spread through respiratory droplets. Symptoms of the disease include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and lethargy. In some cases, the disease can progress to pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Common Questions:

  1. Can all animals get it? So far, the answer seems to be no. 
  2. Can I get it? No. This infection does not appear to be transmissible to humans. 
  3. Is it Covid? No.
  4. Do I need to keep my pet inside? Not necessarily. If your pet is not exhibiting any signs of kennel cough, like coughing or trouble breathing, let them get the outside time they need. However, with that in mind, stay away from community water bowls and dog parks if you are concerned about an outbreak in your area.
  5. Is it treatable? Veterinarians across Oregon to New Hampshire are working to develop a treatment for this disease. 
  6. Is it fatal to my pet? Unfortunately, some pets have died from this infection.
  7. What can I do to protect my pets? There is no specific treatment today (11-22-2023), but you can do a few things to help protect your pet from getting infected.
      • Avoid contact with known infected canines.
      • Practice good hygiene with your pet. Clean your pet's food and water bowls daily with soap and hot water.
      • Make sure your pet is up-to-date with all of their recommended vaccinations.
  8. Can my pet still get it if they have had the Bordetella vaccination? Yes. This infection is different and doesn't respond the same way to vaccinations. 

What Treatments are Being Used?

If you suspect your pet is having a respiratory issue, please bring them to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Their doctor can run specific tests to determine what kind of infection your pet may have. Think bacterial versus viral. The type of infection will dictate what treatment will be used: antibiotics, antimicrobial medications, or any other options available. 

Working with your veterinarian and keeping your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations is the best you can do to help your pet stay healthy this flu season.

Topics: Pet Care