There has been a notable increase in the incidence of a highly contagious canine upper respiratory illness across the United States. This concerning outbreak has captured the attention of pet owners and veterinary professionals alike, prompting heightened awareness and vigilance. Reports from various regions including Ohio indicate a surge in cases reminiscent of the challenges faced in Oregon. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has taken a proactive stance in monitoring and addressing the situation. The cause of the suspected virus as well as specific testing techniques is unknown at this time.
Staying informed is key. According to the AVMA, presentations of the illness include:
- Chronic mild to moderate inflammation of the trachea causing a cough lasting six to eight weeks or longer, which is minimally responsive or not responsive to antibiotics
- Chronic pneumonia that is minimally responsive or not responsive to antibiotics
- Acute pneumonia that rapidly becomes severe and often leads to poor outcomes in as little as 24-36 hours
It is worth noting that potential cases have been reported in Ohio already. In light of the current situation, our recommendation is to avoid contact with dogs outside of your household. If your dog is showing any of the presentations noted above it is critical that you refrain from taking them to doggy daycare, dog parks, grooming, and boarding facilities to avoid spreading disease.
Please note that dogs with pre-existing conditions may be more prone to complications by this illness. By fostering a community of informed and proactive pet owners, we can collectively work towards reducing the impact this illness ensuring the health and happiness of our dogs.
Another great resource for this upper respiratory disease is from the Worms & Germs Blog by Dr. Scott Weese DVM, DACVIM.
Please do not hesitate to call if your pet is showing signs. If a visit is warranted, we will ask that you remain in your car until we are ready to see them to minimize contact with other pets.