I get calls about concerns regarding increased respiratory disease in dogs all the time.

  • Sometimes, they’re the result of local disease outbreaks.
  • Sometimes, they’re just a result of increased awareness of the normal “baseline” disease rate, since “kennel cough” is always occurring at some level.
  • Sometimes, the circumstances just seem different, and we need to get more information.

The last of these is where I stand at the moment. I’ve been getting more reports of canine infectious respiratory disease, including a concerning number of reports of severely affected dogs (with some fatalities). My impression is that something unusual is happening. Most often, the cause is actually one of our “usual suspects,” – the bacteria and viruses that normally cause canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC). It’s often very difficult to sort these things out because limited testing is done, there are limitations on the testing that is done, and there’s no formal tracking system for these infections.

However, we want to figure out what’s going on if we can, because sometimes we do see new (or new-to-us) pathogens (like when canine influenza hit Ontario in 2018), or we can identify hot spots for disease transmission (we’ve implicated specific dog parks in the past).

So, once again, we’re trying to track respiratory disease cases in dogs in Ontario (and beyond Ontario, if people want to report them). We have a quick online survey to collect more information and hopefully figure out if something unusual is happening and what it might be.  The survey can be accessed here: https://uoguelph.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eP6E6AzIiJfnDlY