Canine Respiratory Illness Statement from IVC

November 30, 2023

At IVC, we have always worked to minimize congestion in the office with our remote check in process. Especially while this outbreak is happening, please remember to call from the parking lot to check in for your appointment. Patients are directed into exam rooms without a wait in the lobby and sanitation protocols are observed to clean rooms between patients. Animals with respiratory disease are triaged outside and it is then determined whether an exam and treatment will be done in office or outside.

Here is what we know:

  • Infected dogs develop a cough, fever, lethargy and intermittent loss of appetite. While infected, some dogs will develop pneumonia. This can progress from mild to severe in as little as 24 hours.
  • The symptoms are similar to, but more severe than, kennel cough and will be very similar to the canine flu. It seems that the illness doesn’t respond well to standard treatments, such as antibiotics.
  • The typical first symptom is a cough, which may last for weeks or even months. In some dogs, the cough turns into pneumonia. These are the dogs who are most severely affected and at greatest risk.  Supportive care such as oxygen therapy is necessary in some cases.
  • Symptoms can include coughing, lack of appetite, fever and lethargy.  With this latest respiratory illness dogs can have symptoms for six weeks or more.
Things to watch for:
  • A new, unexplained cough lasting 6-8 weeks that is barely or non-responsive to antibiotics.
  • Chronic pneumonia not responsive to antibiotics.
  • Acute pneumonia that quickly turns severe sometimes in as little as 24-36 hours.
  • Difficulty or rapid breathing, wheezing, dehydration, fever, nasal or eye discharge, weight loss, loss of appetite and lethargy.
  • If any of these signs are noted, it is recommended to call your veterinarian and likely be seen for an examination.
What you can do:
  • Avoid dog parks, pet stores, and grooming facilities with your canine companion, if possible.
  • Be mindful of boarding. It is recommended to avoid boarding your dog unless absolutely necessary. Contact your boarding facility or groomer to see what measures they have in place to mitigate disease- be it kennel cough, flu and the new respiratory illness.
  • If your dog shows any signs of respiratory issues, including the symptoms listed above, contact your vet and keep your pet isolated from other animals until the matter is resolved.
  • Avoid communal water bowls and nose to nose interactions with other dogs while out on walks.
  • Choose less crowded areas to walk with your dog. Nothing suggests that pets should not be walked or go outside. Caution is advised at this time but not panic.
Below is a link to reputable site to keep up to date on this developing situation: