Spotlight: Unraveling a Mysterious Canine Upper Respiratory Disease – Preliminary Insights Into Atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (aCIRD)
December 2023 –
The veterinary landscape is currently grappling with an atypical perplexing challenge: a suspected novel canine upper respiratory disease that was first reported in late Summer 2023. Cases of this unusual condition, currently called atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (aCIRD) have slowly appeared in various states throughout the U.S. Symptoms exhibited by affected canines mirror those commonly associated with known respiratory ailments, diagnostic tests have proven inconclusive. Notably, the standard pathogens implicated in such respiratory distresses are absent in test results, complicating the diagnostic and treatment paradigms.
While some clinical manifestations might echo familiar conditions like kennel cough, the disease’s resistance to conventional treatments has emerged as a significant concern. Some clinical signs in affected canines may include:
- Chronic and persistent respiratory clinical signs;
- Acute progression to pneumonia;
- Laboratory PCR tests for canine respiratory diseases are usually negative for most known pathogens, but occasionally positive for Mycoplasma spp.;
- Poor response to some antibiotic treatments, but data is scarce because treatment options vary;
- Some mortalities have been reported.
WesternU veterinarians (which includes Pedro Paulo V.P. Diniz, D.V.M., Ph.D., Professor; Yvonne Drechsler, DiplBiol (eq M.S.), Ph.D., Professor in Immunology and Virology; Tracey McNamara, D.V.M., DACVP, Professor in Pathology; Theros T. Ng, M.Sc., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Foundation Sciences, Bioinformatics Lead; Brandi Sparling, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in Immunogenetics) in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Health Department, are diligently working to determine the cause of these diseases and develop guidelines for veterinarians and pet owners.
As of today, the disease is only limited to dogs. No known transmission to humans has been reported. As the situation evolves rapidly, WesternU CVM will periodically provide updates.
For dog owners vigilant about their pets’ health, early detection and intervention are paramount. Although the cause of the disease is unknown at this moment, we recommend following the general guidelines for known respiratory diseases recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Respiratory diseases can spread rapidly from infected dogs before showing symptoms. Therefore, the spread of the diseases can be difficult to control. Dog owners should consider:
- Vaccinating dogs for the core canine vaccines;
- Additional Bordetella Bronchiseptica or canine influenza virus vaccines (H3N2 and H3N8) are recommended for dogs at risk or have high exposure to other dogs, such as those that are immunocompromised or exposed to multiple-dog settings;
- Dogs that are showing clinical signs of any respiratory illnesses should be isolated and avoid any social settings for at least 28 days past the first day of onset of illness;
- Clean and disinfect surfaces using household cleaners such as 10% beach;
- Consult with your veterinarian about vaccines and protocols to mitigate diseases.
If you are suspicious of clinical cases relevant to aCIRD in your clinics or hospital, please report them to your local public health officials. Provide results of Antech Canine Respiratory PCR Panel (T995) or IDEXX Respiratory Disease (CRD) RealPCRTM Panel (Comprehensive) Canine (2524) and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) add-on (Antech T998 or IDEXX 8826/88261). Swabs should be collected from disease dogs in the early days at the first clinical signs. A complete history of antibiotic treatment is essential.
The aCIRD team at WesternU CVM is soliciting potential samples from veterinarians to determine the causitive agent of the disease. You are invited to fill out the survey using the link or QR code and we will contact you if the criteria are met.
Link to survey: https://westernu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_231BypAemNDwEom
We encourage readers to take a very close look at the summary, timeline, and other information provided below.