Canine Respiratory Disease Outbreaks

If your dog is persistently coughing, a veterinary visit is in order.  A veterinarian can test your dog for infectious causes of coughing and prescribe medication if needed.  If your dog is coughing, please do not bring your dog inside the veterinary hospital unless instructed to do so by one of our team members. 

Canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC), more familiarly known as “kennel cough,” is a highly contagious illness affecting the respiratory tract in dogs. All breeds and ages are susceptible. As the name “kennel cough” suggests, dogs at particular risk are those exposed to settings where multiple dogs are typically gathered or housed, such as kennels, shelters, and daycare facilities.  Less commonly these disease can be spread in public areas where dogs are not present but the agent has been carried unknowingly on human hands or clothes.  

Several different types of bacteria and viruses can contribute to CIRDC, and dogs can be infected by two or more of these organisms at the same time. A few of the more commonly involved organisms include Bordetella bronchiseptica (a bacterium) as well as canine parainfluenza virus and canine adenovirus type 2.

To protect your dog from CIRDC, the most important thing to do is make sure if your dog is up to date on all of their vaccinations.   

Here are some other tips:

  • Remember, dogs can be contagious and still look perfectly healthy.
  • Keep your dog away from toys and food and water bowls used by dogs outside your household.
  • Stay informed by asking your veterinarian or checking news or internet resources for places or geographic regions where CIRDC, or more specific respiratory infections like canine influenza, have been reported.
  • Delay or avoid travel with your dog to places where outbreaks are occurring.
  • Visit this link for more information on current outbreaks:  

Canine Respiratory Disease Outbreaks