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November 30, 2023

For now, I'm not going to attempt to write extensively about the weird (and maybe new / maybe not new) Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) cases all over the news that result in sometimes quick and dangerous pneumonia. Sure, it's in my wheelhouse, but it's also an fluid situation. I really do not want to add to the hype and drama. Instead, here are some recommendations on reputable places to get updated and accurate information, specifically for your community. 

What Does Respiratory Distress in Pets Look Like?

A veterinary profession magazine published an article I wrote about the sudden death of one of our foster puppies in September 2022. Not CIRDC, but labored breathing for other reasons. It included this 2-page handout for veterinary clients on how to recognize trouble breathing in pets. Maybe helpful for things to watch for.

Article published in the January 2023 issue of TRENDS magazine by the American Animal Hospital Association. Link to a PDF of the 2-page handout. 

respiratory distress handout 1 - roxanne hawn trends magazine January 2023
respiratory distress handout 2 - roxanne hawn trends magazine January 2023

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) Reputable Resources

I appreciate the measured approach to topics like Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) from Worms & Germs Blog. They even co-hosted a webinar with the latest information November 30, 2023. It says we can access that webinar via on-demand replays at this online location. It's sponsored by Trupanion (the pet insurance company). 

Longtime writer and broadcaster in the pet space Steve Dale Pet World is another good resource for the latest information. 

I'm also going to recommend you monitor information coming from these experts to get intel on the situation with Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) near you:

  • The nearest veterinary school to you (Colorado example)
  • Your state's Department of Agriculture (Colorado example)
  • Your veterinarian
  • The nearest veterinary emergency hospital to you
Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex graphic 1 - list of reputable resources

That Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) FB Group

There is a huge Facebook Group where people share case details and locations and other types of input (and predictably combative online debates). It's pretty much a mess, but if you want to join, here's a link.

You may have heard about one dire case where a dog was saved from antibiotic-resistant pneumonia down stream of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). It required the last-resort antibiotic called Chloramphenicol.

Longtime readers likely remember we had to use that with our original canine heroine Lilly at one point when she developed a MRSA infection. It's dangerous for people to even handle, and you have to treat a dog's waste like hazmat material. At the time, due to supply issues or something, we found it difficult to get, so I wouldn't recommend getting too gung-ho on that as an option. It's a big decision to bring out the big-deal antibiotics like that. 

The one useful piece of info I found there so far is about a new-ish immunity supporting supplement from Nutramax that I want to check out called Imuquin. 

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex graphic main

What Am I Doing About (CIRDC)?

So what am I doing about Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)? Kind of nothing at this point. Mostly trying to be the voice of calm.

We stay home a lot anyway. I haven't heard or seen anything from either our primary care veterinary team or the specialty/emergency veterinary hospital we use. Knock on wood, we haven't seen any cases at our local shelter (yet). 

My 3 dogs never did get their kennel cough vaccines in 2023. We can get those (and other vax) affordably through the shelter. Since we have had older puppies all of this year, I haven't worried too much about it. I probably will get those vaccines here soon, but I'm not racing to do it. 

Unfortunately, I have experience with sudden-onset major breathing problems from the crushing death of foster puppy DREAM, so I will say that if you have *any concerns at all about your dog's breathing, get emergency veterinary help ASAP.

Wishing you and your dogs good health. 

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

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