Dog Safety Alert – Respiratory Outbreak

Dear Pawsitive Clients,

Since this past August of 2023, veterinarians around Oregon state started to see an atypical canine infectious respiratory disease circulating around the Portland metro and Willamette Valley areas. The main clinical symptom resembles kennel cough, mainly a dry honking cough. Kennel cough is caused by a complex of bacteria and viruses that affect the upper airways. However, this respiratory disease is thought to be due to a novel virus and a different type of bacteria. The new strain appears to possibly has 3 main distinguishing features:

  1. Chronic mild to moderate tracheobronchitis with a prolonged duration (6-8 weeks or more) that is minimally responsive to oral antibiotics.
  2. Chronic pneumonia that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics.
  3. Acute pneumonia which rapidly becomes severe and can cause mortality in 24-36 hours.

Currently our recommendations are:

  1. Limit your dogs’ exposure to other dogs. Exercise caution in taking your dogs to doggie day care, kennels, dog parks, agility competitions and avoid communal water bowls shared by multiple dogs.
  2. Use your groomer with caution, please contact your groomer prior to appointments to discuss sanitation/prevention protocols they have in place.
  3. If you elect to continue visiting daycares, boarding, dog parks and grooming please ensure your pet is vaccinated against Bordetella and Influenza to prevent comorbid infections. These vaccines are not effective for the current unknown illness but may reduce co-infections.
  4. If your pet has any coughing, lethargy or decreased appetite veterinary care should be sought urgently- if we are unavailable, please use our triage line to determine if you should seek emergency care.

This is a link with more information on this outbreak:

We wish your family (pets included) a safe and happy holiday season and as always do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns.

Pawsitive Team

To reach our after-hours triage line call Pawsitive Wellness at 541-515-6789 and listen for the option to speak with a Veterinary Professional from Guardian Vet.  This service is provided so you can speak with a knowledgeable professional while we are not available.  A report of the concerns and discussion will be forwarded to our office, and we will reach out the next business day. If your pet is in true distress and in need of emergency care, please go to the local emergency hospitals.

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