Here’s a quick update about what we know… which really isn’t a lot more than yesterday.

  • Case reports continue to roll in from different areas. I suspect the outbreak is burning itself out in Orangeville, but a few new cases are still being reported there.
  • A few other clusters seem to be ongoing in different towns such as Cobourg.

Boxer runningI’m still getting a reasonable number of reports of sick dogs from Ottawa too. I hesitate to write this, because people sometimes overreact, but a few of the Ottawa cases were reportedly at the Bruce Pitt dog park before becoming ill. The reason I hesitate is because it’s not a huge number of dogs, and if it’s a busy dog park, odds are some affected dogs will have gone there, irrespective of whether they were infected at the park or somewhere else. However, I figure it’s worth mentioning, not to make people stay away from that park or panic if they’ve been there, but to remind people to use some common sense precautions. These practices are particularly important in any high-dog-density area, and if we know sick dogs have been to a park, it’s even more important.

Sporadic reports are still coming in from other towns, and many of these are probably just part of the baseline level of disease that is always there, but we never hear about. That being said, keeping information coming in from other areas can help us identify new trends.

A cause of the respiratory illness still hasn’t been identified. Only a small percentage of affected dogs have been tested, but more results will be available soon. Beyond the small number of dogs that have been tested, an additional challenge is that some of the pathogens that cause canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC) tend to be shed for only a short period of time after the dog becomes ill. So, if it takes a couple of days before the dog is taken to a veterinarian (a common scenario), test results may be negative. We’re therefore trying to get samples from very early disease whenever possible. Hopefully we’ll find the cause. Often, we don’t, and that can be because of testing issues or the presence of something (new) for which we weren’t able to test.

More to come, hopefully including a diagnosis!