Mysterious Canine Respiratory Illness Breaking Out Across the US & Seattle Canine Club response

December 9, 2023by Seattle Canine Club

A mysterious canine respiratory illness has recently been reported in multiple states, causing symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and lethargy in dogs. This highly contagious illness is still being investigated by researchers to identify the causative agent. Dog owners need to be aware of the potential risks and seek veterinary help if their dog shows any signs of respiratory illness.

Where Has the Canine Respiratory Illness Been Reported?

The mystery respiratory illness has so far been reported in several states, including Oregon, Colorado, Massachusetts, Washington and New Hampshire. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has released advisories as state and national labs work to pinpoint the cause.

What are the Symptoms of the Canine Respiratory Illness?

The illness produces symptoms very similar to kennel cough and canine influenza. Dogs affected by the respiratory illness tend to show coughing, sneezing, nasal/eye discharge, and lethargy. The disease spreads through respiratory droplets when dogs come into close contact, making boarding facilities, dog parks, and daycares high-risk locations.

How is the Illness Diagnosed and Treated?

Veterinarians can diagnose the illness through PCR and serology tests to identify the specific pathogen involved. Though most cases resolve within 7-10 days, testing is recommended for severe or progressive cases to guide treatment. Owners should seek prompt veterinary care as soon as their dog shows any respiratory symptoms. Stopping transmission early is key to controlling this highly contagious canine illness.

Actions Taken by Facilities Like the Seattle Canine Club

Responsible pet care facilities like the Seattle Canine Club are taking proactive steps to protect dogs in their care. This includes thorough cleaning and disinfection protocols, use of air foggers with disinfectant, isolation rooms for potentially ill dogs, contact tracing systems, and close coordination with veterinary hospitals. Owners are encouraged to limit public dog exposure and postpone visits if any illness is suspected. Open communication and preventative measures aim to keep dog daycares and boarding facilities safe during this outbreak.


This mysterious canine respiratory disease requires vigilant monitoring and rapid response from veterinarians and dog owners alike. While the causative agent remains unknown, prompt testing and treatment along with precautions like avoiding high-risk environments can help control the spread of the illness. Dog owners should remain alert for any respiratory symptoms in their pets and contact their vet right away. With collaborative efforts, this outbreak can hopefully be contained.


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