There have been local and national news articles reporting on the increase of canine respiratory illnesses. Recently, the San Diego Humane Society has reported a sudden increase in severe upper respiratory infections due to a combination of bacteria: Streptococcus, Zooepidemicus, and Mycoplasma. Additionally, there have been batches of upper and lower respiratory system infections reported across multiple states, ranging from Oregon to New Hampshire -- in these cases the causative agent (bacteria, virus, fungal) is yet to be determined. 

At the Drake Center, we have maintained a pulse on the local and national reports to stay aware of potential threats to our patients and stay alerted to the best course of action for affected pets. All affected pets have been dogs - these infections do not spread to cats, humans, or other pets in the household.

Dogs with respiratory infections can present with a cough, nasal discharge, lethargy, and poor appetite. These infections spread through respiratory secretions and nose to nose contact between dogs. They are much more common in pets that are in crowded settings or in contact with many other dogs - such as in boarding, daycare, or grooming facilities.

Throughout the Spring and Summer of 2023, we at The Drake Center did see upticks in more severe respiratory infections that we treated, and we closely monitored and did our best to contact trace. As of late, we have not been seeing these significant infections. At the time of the increased incidences of infection, we contacted local boarding facilities and specialty centers, and released updates and news reports for the public. We are remaining vigilant in screening and monitoring our patients.

We do recommend that you keep your dog up to date on their vaccines, especially those that protect the respiratory system from infection - such as Bordetella and Influenza. If your dog has any symptoms - coughing, sneezing, poor appetite, and/or lethargy - please contact your veterinarian to have them seen. 

We highly recommend keeping your pet up to date on their wellness visits and vaccinations, seeking out veterinary care if any respiratory symptoms are observed, and trying to avoid high volume areas for the next few weeks - if possible. The Drake Center will continue to work hard to monitor and keep our community up to date with guidance. 

Thank you and Happy Holidays.