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Canine Respiratory Disease: An Update from Seasons

By November 30, 2023 Uncategorized

There’s been a lot of talk about increasing cases of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC – often referred to as Kennel Cough locally), in various parts of the USA lately and whether this increase is caused by a new, emerging disease or organism. With concerns south of the border, we naturally wonder whether we need to be concerned in our own neck of the woods. So we wanted to provide some guidance and recommendations if you are concerned, or wondering how best to protect your pet.

At the moment there is no indication from the data collected to date that suggests there is something brand new going on. Some of the vague signs, which describe these cases of canine respiratory disease, can largely be used to describe CIRDC as a whole. In our region, CIRDC is often referred to as “Kennel Cough”, a very common disease complex in Winnipeg, causing symptoms ranging from a mild cough to life-threatening pneumonia.

The good news is that at this stage the consensus seems to be that there is no reason for extra concern. Winnipeg is already a hot spot for Canine Respiratory Infections, and so the recommendations we’ve listed below reflect both the current concern regarding CIRDC, as well as our own local disease challenges and how we best prevent them.

Recommendations to keep your pet healthy:

1. Vaccinations:
– Ensure your pet is vaccinated for Kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica) and Canine Parainfluenza virus (CPIV)
– Parainfluenza virus is a disease that we vaccinate against as part of the ‘core’ or DA2PPV vaccine recommended at Seasons Veterinary Clinic (commonly referred to as the “Distemper/Parvo Vaccine”). If your pet is up to date on their DA2PPV vaccine at Seasons, they will also be up to date for the parainfluenza component.

2. Safety precautions:

– Limit your dog’s total contacts, especially transient/passing contact with dogs of unknown health status
– Keep your dog away from sick dogs
– If your dog is sick, keep it away from other dogs

3. Treatment:

– Similar to most diseases, CIRDC, or Kennel Cough, is best treated in the early stages. If you are concerned about your pet’s health, we would recommend bringing them in for a checkup so any disease is caught early when we can best treat it.
Note: as you may see through internet searches, Canine Influenza is often referenced as an additional disease to vaccinate against. Luckily, as this vaccine is not available at this time, Canine Influenza remains very sporadic and a small player in CIRDC in Canada.

Additional resources:

An excellent website for more information is run by Dr Scott Weese, who is a veterinary infectious disease expert from the USA.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns, or to book an appointment for your dog to receive the vaccinations we’ve recommended above.

Warm regards,

The team at Seasons Veterinary Clinic

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