Preventative Care@3x

Understanding the New Respiratory Illness in Dogs

Nov 22, 2023 | All About Animals, Arizona Pet Health, Ask a Vet, Dog, In the News, Preventive Care

Canine Respiratory Infection

A respiratory illness has recently emerged among dogs in several states, drawing swift attention due to its contagious nature and potentially severe impact. We want to share what we know about this new illness, its symptoms, and proactive measures we recommend to help keep your beloved dogs safe.

What are the Symptoms?
This respiratory illness is suspected to be viral. It has been linked to an increase in incidents of pneumonia, as compared to more common illnesses such as kennel cough or canine infectious respiratory diseases. Dogs affected with this new illness are experiencing prolonged bouts of coughing, lasting for weeks instead of the typical 10-day duration associated with other respiratory illnesses.

Symptoms to look out for:
– Persistent coughing
– Nasal or eye discharge
– Trouble breathing
– Loss of appetite
– Significant lethargy

Is My Dog at Risk? What Can I Do Right Now?
Because transmission is very contagious and suspected to be viral, we recommend pet owners:

– Avoid Dog Gatherings: Minimize your dog’s exposure to potential sources of contagion. This includes avoiding: dog parks, boarding facilities, daycare, communal water bowls, and other gatherings where dogs congregate.

– Current Vaccinations: Schedule a preventative care appointment if your dog is not up to date on core vaccinations, including Influenza and Bordetella.

Vaccination Recommendations:
Prevention is key in helping to safeguard your pet from this new respiratory illness. We recommend the influenza vaccine for dogs of every age who are at risk, your veterinary team can help determine if the vaccine is recommended based on your dog’s lifestyle.  While not guaranteeing complete immunity, the vaccine can reduce both the severity and duration of influenza illness. Additionally, keeping up to date with all vaccinations – including the Bordetella vaccine – supports overall health and boosts immunity against respiratory diseases.

What to Do if Your Pet Shows Symptoms:
Schedule a Visit: If you observe any of the previously described symptoms in your dog, it is important to act quickly to help prevent prolonged health issues. Schedule an appointment with one of our AZPetVet locations at the earliest opportunity. When calling to make an appointment, our staff will provide instructions to follow before and during the visit to ensure the safety of all pets in our care.

Staying informed and taking proactive measures are crucial in addressing the rise of this new respiratory illness in dogs. By working together, we can help ensure the health and well-being of our furry companions.

If you have any questions or your dog is in need of current vaccinations, please contact any of our AZPetVet locations to schedule an appointment today.

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.