As many of you are already aware, there is an unusual respiratory infection in dogs here in our area of Colorado and several other states as well. Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDCP) outbreaks are commonly called Kennel Cough and occur in dog populations regularly. These outbreaks are typically caused by known pathogens such as Bordetella, Influenza, Parainfluenza, Mycoplasma, Coronavirus, and others, as well as a combination of these pathogens.

The Infectious agent of this most recent outbreak has not been definitively identified. Veterinary labs are currently testing samples to identify the cause, but it is yet to be determined. It could be a new virus, bacteria, or a mix of more than one.

What we can tell you:
– It is likely contagious between dogs via airborne respiratory droplets.
-No link has been made between sick dogs and respiratory illness in humans.
-Symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, nasal and/or eye discharge, low appetite, and lethargy. Seek veterinary care if your dog exhibits these symptoms.
-Cases tend to fall into three categories: 1.) Chronic to mild kennel cough for 6 to 8 weeks (most cases) 2.) Chronic pneumonia (occasional cases) 3.) Acute pneumonia that becomes severe and potentially life-threatening (rare).

We recommend caution, rather than being overly worried. As with all contagious illnesses, the risk is higher in boarding facilities, grooming facilities, training centers, dog shows, shelters, doggie daycare centers, dog parks, and high-traffic pet stores. Even well-vaccinated dogs can contract this infection.

At Valhalla Kennels we strive to limit exposure by:
-Not co-mingling dogs from different households in the exercise area.
-Not accepting sick dogs into the facility and immediately sending sick dogs home
-Daily disinfecting of all runs and communal spaces
-Sanitizing all drinking and food bowls daily.
– In addition to vaccinating for common respiratory infections that are included in the Bordetella & DHPP vaccine, we now recommend dogs receive the Canine Influenza vaccine before boarding.

**Realize that even vaccinated dogs can get CIRDC and strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols can not eliminate the risk of exposure**