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What Is CIRDC And How You Can Protect Your Dogs

Sick Beagle lying under a white blanket on a bed.

Miami-Dade County has seen a high rate of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) in dogs. As a result, Miami -Dade Animal Services urges pet owners to protect their dogs by avoiding locations with a large population of dogs.

To help guide canine pet parents, we dove deeper into what is CIRDC and how you can help prevent your dog from being exposed to it or coming down with this disease.

What Is CIRDC?

CIRDC, sometimes called dog flu, canine flu, or kennel cough, is a contagious multifactorial disease characterized by acute or chronic inflammation of the trachea and bronchial airways. The infection can spread rapidly among susceptible dogs housed in close confinement, and signs persist for many weeks.

Symptoms Of CIRDC:

  • Sneezing
  • Nose or eye discharge
  • Dry cough, retching, or gagging
  • Partial anorexia

Facilities At Risk:

  • Boarding kennels
  • Doggie daycares
  • Rescue centers
  • Dog parks
  • Dog events
  • Groomers

Exposure to the following produces increased susceptibility and severity:

  • Stress
  • Extremes in temperature and humidity and poor ventilation

Morbidity Threats:

The air passages are filled with frothy, serous, or mucopurulent exudate during the acute and subacute inflammatory stages. Development of more severe signs indicates bronchopneumonia or a complicating systemic infection:

  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge
  • Depression
  • Anorexia
  • A productive cough

Severe cases may progress to fatal bronchopneumonia in puppies or dogs infected with the canine influenza virus.

How Is CIRDC Spread?

  • Direct contact (licking, nuzzling)
  • Indirect (coughing or sneezing)
  • Contaminated surfaces such as food and water bowls, cages, or human contact

CIRDC should be suspected whenever the characteristic cough develops 5–10 days after exposure to other susceptible or affected dogs.

The severity usually diminishes during the first five days, but the disease can persist for several weeks. Therefore, the presumptive diagnosis of CIRDC is generally made from the history and clinical signs and by elimination of other causes of coughing.

Crucial Points To Consider Are:

  • That the disease is like a cold, it is typically self-limiting. However, contact your veterinarian immediately if you see that your dog gets progressively worse.
  • Avoid any place with a high concentration of dogs (dog parks, groomers, daycares) for the next several weeks.
  • Speak to your veterinarian about vaccines.

We know this sounds scary, but please don’t panic. By taking precautions, your beloved pups will be okay. For those whose dogs frequent daycares, consider keeping your canine loved ones home and hiring a dog walker. To learn how we can help you during this time or learn more about CIRDC, contact us anytime!

Check out other blogs regarding your dog’s care, including “The Benefits of Hiring A Dog Walker“!


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