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South Florida is currently experiencing the outbreak of an infectious dog disease called Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) or “kennel cough.”
CIRDC, which is caused by a group of viruses and bacteria, can be very contagious and not all dogs display symptoms but can still spread the disease. Similar to COVID-19, this can be spread when dogs are in close contact or if dogs share toys.
This disease affects the respiratory tract of dogs. Common symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and discharge from the nose. Most cases are mild but if dogs are unattended, this could result in dogs having difficulty breathing, and secretions coming out of their eyes and nose. More severe symptoms include pneumonia or even death if left untreated.
Puppies, older dogs, and immunocompromised dogs are the most susceptible to the virus.
Thankfully, through the efforts of Miami-Dade County health officials, the cases are slowly decreasing. Dog owners from other areas shouldn’t be worried at all. The disease has been around for nearly five decades and you should only take caution when health officials announce that there is an outbreak in your area.
The important thing is that your dogs are up-to-date with their vaccinations as this strengthens their immune systems.