Canine Respiratory Disease Outbreak: There are growing reports in California and other states of a canine respiratory disease whose cause remains unidentified. The CVMA has been closely monitoring these reports, which have been particularly widespread in Oregon and Colorado. Apart from these states, cases have been officially or anecdotally reported in Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Washington. Oregon state officials have received around 200 case reports since mid-August. The Oregon Department of Agriculture notes that reported cases generally fall into three clinical syndromes:

  1. Chronic mild to moderate tracheobronchitis lasting six to eight weeks or longer, which is minimally or not responsive to antimicrobials.
  2. Chronic pneumonia that is minimally or not responsive to antimicrobials.
  3. Acute pneumonia with rapid deterioration leading to poor outcomes within 24 to 36 hours.

Efforts are being made in collaboration with diagnostic laboratories to identify the causative pathogen for the illness. While bacterial associations have been noted in some cases, current suspicions lean towards a viral origin, and veterinary researchers at Colorado State University have been intensively observing a potential virus linked to severe pneumonia resulting in fatalities. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) encourages dog owners to consult with their veterinarian when relevant symptoms arise. Those symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Labored breathing
  • Nose or eye discharge
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite

Pending identification of the causative agent while assuming a viral cause, treatment focuses on supportive care, including proper hydration and nutrition to prevent secondary bacterial infections. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the bacterial cause is identified or strongly suspected. Severe cases might require aggressive treatment like hospitalization, isolation, IV fluids, oxygen support, nebulization, and coupage. Preventative measures, such as avoiding tracheal irritation, are emphasized.

An informative article on Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex and its treatment is available at NCBI - WWW Error Blocked Diagnostic.

The CVMA has also been made aware of a report from the San Diego Humane Society regarding a canine respiratory illness outbreak exacerbated by overcrowding, which is known to be Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus (also known as Strep zoo). There is no indication that this illness in San Diego is related to the more widespread respiratory illness of unknown cause.

Additional resources: American Veterinary Medical Association, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

about us

The Central California Veterinary Medical Association began in 1962 when a small number of veterinarians gathered periodically to share ideas and promote continuing education for members. As the years passed, the association saw the opening of the first emergency clinic in the area, and continued to promote animal welfare through monthly continuing education meetings and community service projects. Today the association; a local chapter of the California Veterinary Medical Association, has over 100 members from Fresno and several other surrounding counties.

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2023 California Veterinarian Legislative Update
This year, the CVMA is working to represent the veterinary profession on a number of critical bills that impact how veterinary medicine is practiced and the level of care that animals receive in California. The CVMA legislative team is participating in meetings frequently in order to ensure that the voice of the profession is heard among stakeholders and lawmakers.

Most bills have made o...

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Click on the links below to learn how to get Continuing Education hours while we cannot congregate in large groups!

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