Reports of mysterious, deadly dog disease now surfacing across Western Washington

A mysterious respiratory disease spreading among dogs has now officially arrived in Western Washington.

According to the latest numbers from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), there have been 16 reports statewide of what is now being called atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). Among those, there have been two confirmed cases, one in each of Snohomish and Clark counties.

Of those 16 reports, seven have been in King County. Another three were in Spokane County, two in Island County, and then one in each of Clark, Pierce, Skamania, and Snohomish counties.

The dogs in the two confirmed cases are said to be “recovering,” as are the majority of cases tracked by veterinarians. That said, “a small portion of animals do experience serious disease,” the WSDA warns.

For the 14 reports that have not yet been confirmed, the WSDA says it is “still collecting information to ensure we provide accurate information.

To protect your pets, the WSDA advises the following:

  • Fully vaccinating your pets for all canine respiratory diseases
  • Avoiding group settings for dogs
  • Keeping pets away from sick dogs
  • Washing your hands, especially if you’re exposed to sick dogs and/or boarding facilities
  • Contacting your vet if your dog is showing symptoms

CIRDC symptoms include lethargy, coughing, discharge from the nose and/or eyes, and in more serious cases, signs typically seen in pneumonia. The typical iteration is commonly known as kennel cough. The atypical form first surfaced around August of 2023, and has since spread to several states, including Oregon and Idaho.

There have not been any reports of the illness spreading to humans.

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