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  • Information on Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease - Wyoming Livestock Board bulletin - 12/08/2023

Information on Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease - Wyoming Livestock Board bulletin - 12/08/2023

December 09, 2023 9:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Wyoming Livestock Board sent this bulletin at 12/08/2023

Veterinarians have been reporting an increased number of cases of canine infectious respiratory disease in other states, including Colorado, Oregon, Florida, and New Hampshire. However, as canine respiratory disease is not typically reportable to the state, a number of affected animals is not well known. A few practices in Wyoming have contacted the Wyoming Livestock Board about seeing an increased number of cases. 

The two links below offer expert information on the canine respiratory disease situation.

NPR Radio interview with infectious disease veterinarians - 3 minutes

Canine Respiratory Illness Q&A with Trupanion - 1 hour

A summary for veterinarians and information to share with pet owners is provided below. 

Case Definition and Symptoms:

At this time, a specific case definition has not been developed for this disease condition. The following symptoms have been noted by other states:

  • Chronic mild to moderate cough lasting 3 weeks or longer and is minimally or not responsive to treatment. Ocular and nasal discharge may also be present.
  • Chronic pneumonia that is minimally or not responsive to antimicrobials
  • Acute pneumonia that can rapidly progress and become fatal

**Please report any canine cases adhering to one of these bullet points to the

Wyoming Livestock Board: (307) 777-7515.**

Diagnostic Testing:

At this time, a single causative agent has not been detected. This may be due to a lack of testing or testing being performed too late in the disease process for a diagnosis. 

Per recommendations from the USDA and diagnostic labs, see testing information below:

  • Ideal testing for suspected viral infection is within the first 72 hours of onset of clinical signs and prior to initiating therapy.  

  • If you are submitting samples, please contact your diagnostic laboratory for appropriate sample collection and storage.  
  • Here are some basic guidelines regarding sample collection for acute respiratory cases:  
    • Collect nasal and oropharyngeal swabs for PCR testing using appropriate swabs and viral transport media.
    • Do NOT use cotton-tipped, wooden shafted swabs as they contain PCR inhibitors. 
    • In cases of pneumonia, respiratory washes can be collected for culture to aid in treatment of infections that have an opportunistic bacterial component. 
  • If you are performing in-house diagnostics or using a diagnostic lab that doesn't have a program for further genetic sequencing in place, consider collecting duplicate samples.  Hold the second set of samples until the screening tests are completed.  
    • If the initial screening tests come back negative, certain diagnostic labs may have additional testing for acute case work-ups. 

The following laboratories offer canine respiratory disease panels for initial testing. The panels vary by location so please follow the link for further details. 

Colorado State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab:  

CSU Canine Respiratory Screen

Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center:

Cornell Respiratory Disease Testing Advisory

Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab:

KSVDL Testing Information

Treatment of  Respiratory Disease:

See the link below for ACVIM guidelines on treatment of respiratory disease in dogs.

Antimicrobial Guidance on Respiratory Disease Treatment - ACVIM

Information for Pet Owners

Infectious respiratory disease in dogs in not uncommon. There are a few different pathogens that can cause respiratory disease in dogs that can be transmitted by direct contact through the air. 

Pet owners should monitor for the following symptoms and seek veterinary care early.

Symptoms can include:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge
  • Lethargy

A few things owners can do to protect their pets:

  • Ensure dogs are up-to-date on vaccinations. Respiratory disease that vaccines are available for include canine influenza, bordetella and parainfluenza. For appropriate coverage, pets should not be commingled with other dogs within 2 weeks of a booster vaccination.
  • Reduce your pet’s exposure to disease by limiting commingling with other dogs (including dog parks, boarding, grooming, and play groups).
  • Consult with your veterinarian if your dog becomes ill.
    • Early diagnostics may help in getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment. If your dog becomes ill or presents symptoms, keep them at home to avoid exposure to other dogs.  

Risk to humans:

  • A link has not been reported between this canine respiratory disease and disease in humans. Any person who develops signs of respiratory illness who had close contact with an ill dog should consult with their physician as they normally would during the winter season.

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