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  • Writer's pictureCuyamaca Animal Hospital

Addressing the "Mystery Respiratory Disease" Outbreak in Dogs

There have been numerous stories on news & social media about the "mystery respiratory disease" outbreak in dogs across the country.


Specialists are telling us that most cases are just kennel cough that lasts longer than usual. There are outbreaks like this every year across the country and the specialists feel it isn't any worse than usual. A quote from one specialist: "It's more likely an outbreak of media attention than a true outbreak in disease."

Most of these coughing dogs who died did not have any testing done to know what they died of. There are numerous causes of coughing that are not infectious that dogs can die from, like congestive heart failure & cancer. We cannot assume these dogs died of infectious disease without doing testing on them. Unfortunately, many people who had coughing dogs who died are posting on social media that their dogs died of this mystery respiratory illness when, in reality, they don't know why they died.

Currently, San Diego is not seeing any more respiratory disease in the general dog population than usual. The Humane Society had an outbreak of respiratory disease recently, but it was contained & there have not been any more outbreaks. We do have vaccines for the most common respiratory diseases: parainfluenza & bordetella. There have not been any influenza outbreaks in San Diego but there we also have the influenza vaccine if anyone is concerned especially if they are travelling.

You are always welcome to call or text Cuyamaca Animal Hospital if you have any questions at 619-448-0707.

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