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New Upper Respiratory Illness Affecting Dogs 2023

There is a new upper respiratory infection affecting dogs that has been circulating around the country for the last few months. We wanted to share some additional information, as well as recommendations for mitigation and prevention.

We have consistently been seeing about 3-4 cases (sometimes more) a day, with some of these cases requiring transfer to an emergency facility for hospitalization. Most of these dogs are presenting with the typical “kennel cough” symptoms, such as a dry/hacking cough. However, we are seeing a sometimes-rapid progression where the cough becomes a wet, productive cough and the dog is diagnosed with pneumonia.

We are encouraging all dog parents to closely monitor for any coughing, sneezing, discharge from the eyes and nose, and associated lethargy and inappetence. If noticed, we are recommending prompt treatment. Depending on the severity of illness, as well as physical exam findings, we may recommend chest x-rays to ensure there is no pneumonia present. We may also recommend sending out a Respiratory PCR, which is a test that detects pathogens commonly attributed to respiratory disease. Out of an abundance of caution, we are also starting any dog that presents with upper respiratory symptoms on oral antibiotic therapy. This new illness does not discriminate, and we are seeing young, otherwise healthy dogs become very, very ill.

Until we learn more about this illness, we are recommending that all dogs avoid high-traffic areas such as dog parks and daycare, boarding, and grooming facilities. We are also recommending that all dogs are up to date with their Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine. We also offer a bivalent influenza vaccine, but because there is a national shortage of the vaccine, our supply is currently limited, but do inquire if you are interested!

We are here and available to answer any questions or concerns, so please do not hesitate to call or text (720) 600-2450.

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