Home > Recent News > What We Know About The New Canine Respiratory Illness

News & Events

  • Categories
  • What We Know About The New Canine Respiratory Illness

    posted in: ARLGP News | Featured | New Post on:

    A Note from the ARLGP’s Veterinary Team:

    There has recently been a lot of media coverage about a new respiratory illness in dogs that is spreading in multiple states. The symptoms of this novel respiratory illness look the same as familiar canine respiratory diseases we call “Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex” (also known as “kennel cough”). What’s different is that the dogs affected seem to be resistant to our normal medications and the signs persist for longer, sometimes progressing to pneumonia. Because the media represents this differently, the ARLGP’s Medical Director, Dr. Mark Hanks DVM, wants to underscore that while this syndrome is different from routine “kennel cough” illness, our monitoring and disease prevention strategies are the same. Most dogs that we see with coughing are infected with one of the 8 organisms that make up the “kennel cough” complex and so far, we have seen no cases of this novel disease at the ARLGP.

    We routinely screen sick dogs with a sensitive test for the 8 organisms known to cause “kennel cough”. If these screening tests are negative, we have the ability to submit suspicious samples to regional research labs, such as the University of New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. Because of these reports, we are being extra vigilant to identify dogs that may have the new organism.

    The problem in a nutshell is that as of now, no one has identified the actual organism, although in vet discussions we see that researchers believe it is most likely bacterial.

    Know we are on it and will report any new information as soon as we receive it. One member of our vet team at the ARLGP, Dr. Carolyn Hurwitz, has previously worked as an Assistant State Vet for Maine where she worked on infectious disease control programs. One of the most important ways for veterinarians to prevent and control infectious disease is to remain informed about the illness and local transmission risks. Dr. Hurwitz and the rest of the animal care team at the ARLGP are applying these concepts by staying connected to our statewide information resources, including the State Vet’s office and regional research labs. We are standing ready to identify and respond to any unusual respiratory illness in dogs.

    For now, if your dog has a cough, check with your veterinarian before allowing contact with any other dogs. Like all Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex, this is spread by inhalation and oral contact with infected dogs (sharing water bowls, licking each others’ faces, etc). If you are fostering an ARLGP dog, please let us know if there are any signs of coughing (honking sound), sneezing, or respiratory distress.

    The ARLGP remains a community resource as we continue to navigate this new illness.