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The "Mystery" Respiratory Dog Illness

Updated: Dec 31, 2023

What is the new respiratory disease in dogs?


In loving memory of seven-year-old Buster, an Australian Shepherd, pictured here, laying down, very sadly passed away in December of 2023 in Ontario, Canada, when he succumbed to the "mystery" respiratory dog illness possibly caused by a "mystery" dog virus that is spreading in the USA and Canada.
In loving memory of seven-year-old Buster, an Australian Shepherd, pictured here, laying down, very sadly passed away in December of 2023 in Ontario, Canada, when he succumbed to the "mystery" respiratory dog illness possibly caused by a "mystery" dog virus that is spreading in the USA and Canada.

New mystery respiratory dog illness has spread to Canada


Lately we have had a few inquiries about a "novel respiratory illness" being found in several dogs in the US, now apparently in 14 states. Typically, when the mainstream media gets hold of something of this nature, it is already months old news and we all know that the media does tend to sensationalize things. Having said that, and based on the reports, apparently it is an aggressive respiratory disease in dogs that is minimally or non-responsive to the usual treatments. 


Some vets in the states have seen cases over the course of the summer (June/July/Aug). But those same veterinarians said more recent cases of respiratory disease in dogs seem to be more routine. This could mean some herd immunity is already developing. In fact, Vermont State Veterinarian Kristin Haas said New England has been seeing cases of this since at least early summer 2022. Some cases have been fatal, while others have not gone beyond the equivalent of a “common cold” type illness, Haas said.


Do dog owners need to worry about the mystery respiratory dog illness?


Should you worry? It is not yet known for sure what organism might be causing this illness so the best thing in our opinion is to mostly sit tight and watch for updates. If you are kenneling your dog over the next few months or take them to dog daycare regularly, we don't suggest you not do this, but perhaps a course of some immune supporting supplements starting 7 days before the stay and a few days after as well as while they are there would help out a lot. Immune 7 mushroom extract or Liquid Immuno would be a great way to keep their immunity high, perhaps 1 drop of Vitamin D3 which is about 1000 micrograms daily could help as well, and even some daily Colloidal silver could benefit them. If you want any of these items, please let us know ahead of coming in to make sure it is all in stock.


And, naturally, if this mystery respiratory dog illness does come to BC, you all know and understand that we have some not so run-of-the-mill options to help them get through it! Stay tuned and stay pawsitive!


With warm regards,

1950 Harvey Avenue, Unit 500, Kelowna, BC V1Y 8J8.


About the author

Dr. Moira Drosdovech, Veterinarian and founder of Pawsitive Veterinary Care, in 2000. This pet clinic in Kelowna, British Columbia offers a refreshing approach to your pets health care with holistic therapies, blended when necessary with conventional medicines and diagnostics.


Pawsitive Veterinary Care in BC, Canada.
Pawsitive Veterinary Care in BC, Canada.

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