Saturday, April 20

The kennel cough outbreak in Florida explained

  • South Florida is experiencing an outbreak of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex, or “kennel cough.”
  • Most cases of the disease are mild, but worsening symptoms could develop into pneumonia.
  • Health experts say keeping dogs up-to-date on vaccines is the best protection.

With COVID-19 still on the mind of many Americans, there’s another virus spreading around south Florida affecting a different segment of the population: dogs.

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex, also known as “kennel cough” or “canine cough,” is caused by a group of viruses and bacteria, including the flu, that affects the respiratory tract of dogs. It can also be easily spread, whether dogs live in a home or awaiting adoption.

While the recent outbreak has been limited to South Florida, the illness can be found throughout the country at any given time, according to José Arce, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“We’ll see a case here and there, but then there are times where outbreaks will occur in different areas of the country at different times,” Arce told USA TODAY.

Here is everything you need to know about ICRC:

Your dog is choking?: Here’s what to do when something gets stuck in your pup’s throat

emergency chocolate: So your dog just ate some chocolate. Here’s what you should do first.

How does CIRDC spread?

Similar to how COVID-19 spreads, CIRDC easily spreads whenever dogs are in close contact, whether it be at a dog park, a play date, groomer, dog events and with dogs that are in common places like shelters. Arce said another way the virus could spread is if a dog plays with a toy and a different dog then uses the same toy.

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