Mysterious Respiratory Disease in Dogs Sparks Investigation in Los Angeles County

Mysterious Respiratory Disease in Dogs Sparks Investigation in Los Angeles CountySource: Google Street View
Gabriela Martinez
Published on November 21, 2023

Los Angeles County's public health officials are examining an unidentified respiratory disease currently affecting dogs. This ailment, known as Atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (aCIRD), presents an unknown origin and has surfaced in multiple states. Dogs with this disease exhibit symptoms including coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and lethargy. Numerous reports of these symptoms have compelled the Veterinary Public Health Program of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to launch an investigation into this enigmatic disease.

Since last Thursday, officials have recorded ten reported cases of dogs; these pets demonstrated respiratory illness symptoms, yet tested negative for common viruses. In light of the typical bacteria related to similar cases, owners of these dogs are now being contacted to supply information on potential infection sources, while communications with federal and state entities continue towards ensuring coordinated efforts and current public information according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health press release.

Currently, defining aCIRD cases requires a negative canine respiratory PCR test panel, testing commonly seen viruses and bacteria. Additional conditions include chronic respiratory infections lasting over six weeks showing minimal antibiotic response, chronic pneumonia with a similar antibiotic response, or acute pneumonia progressing rapidly to severity, often yielding poor results within 24-36 hours. Given the disease's indeterminate origin, both veterinarians and dog owners are urged to keep vigilant and monitor their pets for the listed symptoms.

Dog owners are encouraged to put safety measures in place to prevent aCIRD propagation. If a dog presents symptoms, owners should contact their veterinarian for possible testing and medication. Sick dogs are recommended to undergo home isolation for no less than 28 days from the onset of illness, and dogs exposed to the sick animal should be quarantined for 14 days to observe possible infection signs. Regular cleaning and disinfection, combined with limiting their contact with other dogs, can significantly reduce the risk of transmission.