Canine Respiratory Disease Information

There has recently been a lot of media attention surrounding canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC), so we wanted to share what the veterinary community knows so far.  This illness causes pneumonia and does not respond to antibiotics.  Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge and lethargy. Some cases of pneumonia progress quickly, making dogs very sick within 24 to 36 hours. There are reported cases in Oregon, and as of Monday some suspected cases in Spokane primarily from a single shelter.

The Washington State Veterinary Medical Association released this statement last week “Respiratory disease outbreaks are relatively common at this time of year.  It is unclear whether the stories in the media are about a new respiratory disease or the more commonly experienced seasonal diseases such as Kennel Cough.”

Unfortunately, there is not a lot known about this new illness yet.  Our best recommendations are:

  • Don’t panic. Serious disease is being reported in only a small subset of infected dogs, and most dogs that get CIRDC recover uneventfully.
  • Make sure your dogs are appropriately vaccinated to protect them from respiratory and other diseases.  These vaccines include Distemper/Parainfluenza, Bordetella, and Canine Influenza. If you have questions about your pet’s vaccine status, you can view your medical records on our clinic app available here or email our front desk for a copy of your vaccine certificate.
  • A coughing dog that is otherwise perky, eating, and active usually does not warrant a vet visit. If the cough does not clear up after a few days or your pet exhibits any of the following symptoms, give us a call or contact an after-hours Emergency facility if we are closed:
  • Weakness, severe depression (meaning the dog is really quiet, not engaged and just lies around, doesn’t get up for usual activities like meals/walks, etc.)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing (breathing faster and harder even when not exercising)
  • Rapid worsening of illness
  • Cough that is causing significant problems such as vomiting or making it hard for the dog to breathe

It’s especially important to see the veterinarian if these signs occur in a high-risk dog, including:

  • Elderly
  • Very young
  • Pregnant
  • Immunocompromised (by disease or treatment)
  • Underlying heart or respiratory tract disease
  • Brachycephalic (i.e., squish-faced breeds like Frenchies, bulldogs, etc.)

Respiratory diseases are contracted by exposure to sick dogs via airborne particles, saliva and mucous. So, it is also recommended that if you hear of local respiratory disease, you should avoid dog parks, daycare and boarding facilities, shared drinking bowls, and other areas where multiple dogs are grouped together.  If your pup is a homebody or only has visits with other small, trusted, vaccinated cohorts (neighborhood walking groups, family member’s pets) their risk is relatively low.

As always, we are here to help you make the best medical decisions for your pets. If you have any concerns or your pet develops symptoms, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Pet Surgery

The veterinary team at North Seattle Veterinary Clinic is a skilled group of experts, and there’s little we can’t handle. Soft tissue surgeries are all completed in house.

Pet Surgery at North Seattle Veterinary Clinic

Before every procedure, we perform a full physical exam and pre-anesthetic bloodwork to ensure your companion is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. To maximize their comfort level, we also administer pain medication before the surgery, so your pet awakens with minimal or no discomfort.

Our pain management protocols are specifically designed for your pet, so you can rest assured that their dosage is the perfect amount for them.

Surgeries We Offer

Consult with our veterinarians for additional services

  • Advanced Soft Tissue
  • Spay and neuter
  • Mass removals
  • Cystotomy
  • Laceration repairs
  • Small Mammal Tooth Trims
Pet Owner Tips for Surgical Procedures
  • Make sure your pet does not eat anything after midnight before the day of surgery. Feed them their dinner, but no midnight snacks! However, they may have water up until their appointment.
  • It’s essential that you bring your pet in early on the day of surgery (the exact time will be discussed when the date is set). Even if a surgery is scheduled for the afternoon, we must get all the necessary bloodwork, exams, and preparation finished well ahead of time to stay on schedule.
  • After your pet is released, we’ll discuss at-home care and send you home with instructions and pain medication to help with discomfort.

Our goal is to provide the best possible care and education so that your furry loved ones may enjoy a long happy life with you.

We consider you and your pets family and look forward to meeting you.