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News: Atypical Infectious Respiratory Disease

Many of you will have heard about the unusual respiratory disease being seen in OR and CA. Cases have been reported in the Portland, Salem, and Corvallis areas  (approximately 100 cases in the entire state) but are more concentrated in California than OR. At this time, the causative agent has not been identified. While it does appear to be viral in origin, it is not one of the organisms typically identified with Kennel Cough Complex or the Canine Influenza virus.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has reported 3 possible clinical syndromes:

  • Chronic mild-moderate tracheobronchitis (cough that may be productive or dry) with a prolonged duration (6-8 weeks or longer) that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics

  • Chronic pneumonia that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics

  • Acute pneumonia rapidly becomes severe and often leads to poor outcomes in as little as 24-36 hours.

The best ways to reduce the risk of exposure are:

  1. Avoid high-risk situations wherever possible (dog parks, daycare centers, boarding facilities, dog shows, large training classes).

  2. Avoid communal water or food bowls at these locations

  3. Be sure your pet is current on its Bordatella, Influenza, and Parainfluenza vaccines, and if not, booster them or start and complete the series as soon as possible. While vaccination for these diseases may not prevent infection with this novel virus, they do help provide respiratory immunity if multiple organisms are involved in particular cases (some cases have been diagnosed with Mycoplasma infection which is part of the Kennel Cough Complex but this bacteria is not believed to be the primary causative agent).

  4. If your pet has any respiratory signs, keep it away from other dogs and obtain veterinary advice or an examination as the veterinarian deems necessary. Symptoms may include coughing, nasal or eye discharge, sneezing, increased respiratory rate or effort, lethargy, anorexia, and/or fever.

  5. Keep your pet separated from dogs that you don’t know or where vaccine status is unknown

  6. If you have to go into a high-risk situation, try to keep your pets separated from other animals as much as possible.

  7. If you need to come to the veterinary clinic, do not allow your pet to have nose-to-nose contact with dogs that don’t belong to you.

 

To date, we have not seen any cases in our clinic but we are on alert for the symptoms and signs and will do our best to isolate any respiratory cases from all other patients.

 

Please feel free to call the clinic to schedule vaccines or boosters if needed or if you have any other questions.

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