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December 7, 2023

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Dog Respiratory Disease

Recently, there have been many news reports of a mystery respiratory dog illness in the United States. Although Oregon has been recognized as having a high incidence of this disease, Central Oregon is not currently experiencing an outbreak. 

Here is what we do know about the new/atypical respiratory disease

  • In August of 2023 the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) received reports of a respiratory illness in dogs in the Portland Metro & Willamette Valley areas
  • Veterinarians in other states have reported a similar illness in dogs (some of these reports are as far back as summer 2022)
  • The exact cause of the illness is not known (many common causes of respiratory illness in dogs have been negative). A virus is suspected but has not been isolated
  • The disease appears to be spread by respiratory droplets (through saliva and nasal secretions). 
  • Recent data indicates the disease has reached it’s peak and is stabilizing 

What are the symptoms of the disease?

  • Coughing, sneezing, nasal and/or eye discharge
  • Symptoms appear to fall into 3 general categories:
    • Chronic mild to moderate upper airway inflammation that causes a cough with a prolonged duration (6-8 weeks) that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics
    • Chronic pneumonia that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics
    • Acute pneumonia that is severe & often has a poor outcome within 24-36 hours

Should dog owners be worried?

  • Being cautious is a good idea, but try not to panic or be overly worried
  • The majority of pets that get respiratory disease will recover 
  • If your pet develops a severe cough with lethargy, inappetance or difficulty breathing then they should be seen by a veterinarian immediately

Precautions you can take

  • Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccines
  • Avoid communal water dishes and other dogs toys
  • Avoid large groups of unknown dogs or unvaccinated dogs
  • If your dog is sick, keep them away from other dogs until the symptoms have resolved
  • If your dog is coughing, sneezing or having nasal or eye discharge, seek veterinary care

Here are some additional sources of information:

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us!