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Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)

Published 11/27/23

We are starting to field calls and questions from concerned pet owners regarding the recent nationwide attention given to an outbreak of canine respiratory illnesses.  Our team has devoted time to researching the issue and this document provides those results. 

The illness gained attention in August of this year and centered around dogs in the Portland area. Four other states are also reporting similar cases. Below are three hyperlinks to factual, informative documents.

Advisory from the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association: https://www.oregonvma.org/news/reports-of-severe-canine-infectious-respiratory-disease-in-oregon
News release from the Washington State Department of Agriculture: https://agr.wa.gov/about-wsda/news-and-media-relations/news-releases?article=37947
Statement from the American Veterinary Medical Association: https://www.avma.org/news/oregon-dealing-respiratory-illness-incidents-dogs

Listed below are some important bullet points:
  • The illness has been reported in five states, with Oregon having over 200 reports.  Oregon officials are urging caution and not to worry.  200 reports are a minuscule fraction of the total number of dogs in Oregon, or even Portland for that matter.
  • No cases have been reported in Washington.
  • Medical officials have not determined whether it’s a virus or bacterial infection.  It can lead to pneumonia and seems resistant to antibiotics.
  • While a few dogs have died, generally healthy dogs only suffer a respiratory illness.  Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, fever, nasal / eye discharge, and lethargy.  
  • No testing or vaccine is available for this new illness.  

We would caution anyone from relying too much on newscasts. News organizations are challenged to get ratings and turn a profit, and many of them consistently over-exaggerate issues to create dramatic headlines and sound bites. We've read more than one report that makes it sound like dogs are dying all over the country. When you look at the hard facts, that's simply not true. This particular strain has actually been around for more than a year and the only fatalities were in dogs that had underlying conditions or secondary infections. Healthy dogs experience the indicated symptoms for a period, but very rarely is it life-threatening.

However, with an abundance of caution, we are removing our communal water bowls from both locations, as this was mentioned in the Oregon advisory as a potential way to spread a CIRDC. 

Effective immediately: Each service provider will begin each grooming appointment/group class/or private training lesson with a basic health screen for coughing, sneezing, eye or nasal discharge, and lethargy. Retail staff will be alert for any canine shoppers experiencing these symptoms. Any canine exhibiting these symptoms will be asked to leave and recommended to contact their local vet. Bottom line, if your pet is sick or experiencing any of these symptoms, please do not take them out in public.

Thank you for helping us maintain a safe facility and community.

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