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  • Writer's pictureDeanna Anderson

"Mystery" Canine Respiratory Illness in the News

This new Canine Respiratory Infectious Disease (CRID commonly called "Kennel Cough") has made the news because it is caused by a pathogen that is not included in the standard dog CIRD tests. It is different from other CRID pathogens because the symptoms can last several weeks or months. The great majority (over 90%) of dogs who have reported this "mystery illness" recover on their own with only mild symptoms, much like the other known sources of canine coughs; however, some dogs develop a secondary bacterial infection like pneumonia, which complicates treatment if not identified properly by veterinarians in the first place. There is always a chance of a canine cough spreading during any dog-to-dog interaction, even amongst vaccinated dogs, but this one is a new one.

Until they identify the pathogen specifically, we will be taking some extra precautions. In addition to our high standard of daily cleaning and disinfection, here are ways we are mitigating the spread of germs at The Mindful Mutt:

1. Individual water and no shared toys. They are disinfected in veterinarian-grade stabilized hydrogen peroxide for a minimum of 10 minutes between each dog's use.

2. Limiting mouth-to-mouth play

3. We are instituting a covid-like symptom questionnaire at drop-off for every dog "Have you noticed any of the following?"

  • Coughing

  • Sneezing

  • Labored breathing

  • Nose or eye discharge

  • Lethargy

  • Decreased appetite

4. Checking dogs' temperature for signs of a fever at check-in (starting next week once we receive the thermometer that is on order)

Recommendations from Veterinarian:

1. My vet recommended an immune system booster called Imuquin, which can be given every other day to every day with their food. You can purchase this over the counter without a prescription. Of course, make sure to talk to your veterinarian to make sure it's good for your dog.

2. Add a humidifier at home with a humidity gauge. Humidity between 30-50% soothes the respiratory system and helps prevent transmission of viruses like the flu.

3. Ensure your dog is up-to-date on Canine Flu (every year) and Distemper (every 1-3 years) vaccines.

4. Get your dog the Bordetella vaccine every 6 months instead of annually, as the vaccine is less effective after 6 months.

Be Safe! Dog Bless!

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