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.

Urgent Care
Consent Form

Please fill out this form as completely as possible so we can get to know you and your pet(s). Thank you!

Pet Details

Pet Name(Required)
Sex(Required)
MM slash DD slash YYYY

Owner Details

Name(Required)
May we text you if we cannot reach you by phone? *(Required)
Address
After the veterinarian has examined your pet you will receive a phone call with a treatment plan and recommendation that includes an estimate of cost. In the event that we are unable to contact you, Please list your preference:

EMERGENCY AUTHORIZATION

PATIENT MEDICAL HISTORY

Any known reactions or allergies to medications or vaccinations?(Required)
Has your pet shown recent signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, coughing or sneezing?(Required)
Has your pet shown changes in appetite, drinking or exercise habits?(Required)

MEDICATION PREFERENCES

Select One(Required)
The information provided on this form is true to the best of my knowledge. I authorize North Seattle Veterinary Clinic to examine and initiate for my pet. This may include treatment for shock and pain. I understand that no guarantee or warranty for success can be given and that some risks are involved in all procedures and treatments. I assume financial responsibility for charges incurred to this patient. if I am not the owner of the animal, I represent that I have been given authority by the owner to obtain medical treatment for this patient, and to incur costs of its care. I understand payment in full is due at the time that I pickup up the patient.
MM slash DD slash YYYY
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.