A Message regarding Canine upper respiratory infections

To all our friends and family of Roseway Veterinary Hospital:

We know that there has been a lot in the news recently regarding a new respiratory disease affecting dogs in Oregon and a few other states. We know that you are concerned about your dog’s health and look to us for answers and guidance. To that end, here are a few things we know about the disease and a few things to consider regarding your family member’s safety and health:

  • A respiratory illness is affecting our canine patients in some areas of the United States including Oregon.
  • Diagnostic testing has not yet confirmed the cause.
  • We are taking precautions at Roseway Veterinary Hospital if any respiratory disease is suspected in any of our patients coming to the hospital.
  • We have no reason to believe this illness can cause disease in people or cats. We (the veterinary community) do NOT believe that it is caused by the COVID-19 virus.

We are currently advising the following for our canine patients:

Ensure respiratory vaccines are up to date for eligible dogs, including Bordetella (aka kennel cough), Parainfluenza virus and canine influenza virus (which we currently have in stock). To reduce the risk of exposure, you may want to try to limit your dog’s time around other dogs. This may mean reducing or suspending time at doggy daycare or grooming facilities, limiting time in boarding facilities (and considering in-home pet-sitters) and avoiding dog parks and other public areas.

In the meantime, monitor your dog closely for any of the following respiratory signs: coughing or productive coughing (e.g., mucus from the mouth after coughing), sneezing, discharge from the nose or mouth, rapid or labored breathing, lethargy or weakness, decreased appetite or complete absence of appetite, or fever. If you notice any of these signs in your dog, please schedule an appointment with us for further assessment and notify the hospital of respiratory signs in advance of your arrival so that precautions can be taken to prevent infecting other dogs. If an appointment cannot be scheduled within 2-3 days with us, or if worsening or more severe signs are noted, please seek same-day care at an urgent care or emergency hospital facility. Please remember antibiotics should only be used under the direction of a veterinarian in response to clinical signs. Antibiotics do not prevent disease; they do not treat viral diseases and should not be started in patients without symptoms indicating a need for antibiotics.

We know that this can be scary, but we are here to help.

For a lot of people, traveling and camping with their dog is one of the best things about summer. While heading into the great outdoors with Fido can be a lot of fun, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and take precautions.

Safe transport. Depending on where your pet will be riding, a travel crate or seatbelt harness is the best way to go. If you opt for a harness, make sure you choose one that will keep your pet secure in a crash, not just a snap-on device. Using a crate? The Center for Pet Safety recommends that crates be attached to vehicle walls for safety.

Make sure your pet has ID inside and out. Your dog should not only have a collar and identification tags (double check that the info hasn’t worn off), but a microchip as well. Collars can get removed or lost, but a microchip—with your current contact information—will greatly increase the chances that your pet is returned to you if he or she goes missing.

Tick prevention is a must. These tiny bloodsuckers often carry diseases that can make you and your pet sick. Even if your pet is current on prevention medication, it’s a good idea to check for ticks daily as these insects can jump from dogs to humans easily.

Watch for wildlife. Coyote, hawks, bears and other animals have been known to track, snatch and kill pets. Raccoons and possum could fight with your dog over food. It’s best to walk your dog on a non-extendable lead and never leave your pet tied up at a campsite unsupervised.

Smoke signals. Animals can suffer health problems from breathing smoky air over time, especially those who already have some respiratory or cardiac issues. Watch your pet for signs of smoke irritation like coughing, gagging, nasal discharge, fatigue and reduced appetite.

If air quality is being affected by smoke from campfires, wildfires or any other source, here are some tips to keep your pet breathing easy.

  • Pets and birds should be kept indoors with windows shut
  • Avoid long or intense outdoor exercise during times when air quality is poor
  • Watch pets with cardiovascular or respiratory issues closely for signs of distress

It’s always a good idea to get in for a check-up before traveling or camping to make sure your pet is current on vaccinations, has the parasite protection needed, and that he or she is healthy enough to travel. To schedule an appointment, call us at (574) 248-4057.