Highly Contagious Respiratory Disease Affecting Dogs Spreads Across Florida

As more dogs fall ill in several Florida counties, animal services and city officials are warning dog parents to be cautious of an infectious respiratory disease. The disease spreading across south Florida is highly contagious, and many dogs have already been affected.

Promoting awareness of Canine Infection Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) can help slow the spread. You should also know how to keep your dog from contracting or passing on the disease.

About Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)

CIRDC causes inflammation of the upper respiratory system. Dr. Maria Serrano, a veterinarian at Miami-Dade Animal Services, explained to CBS:

“Canine infectious respiratory disease complex is like a canine flu or canine cold. It’s multiple viruses that affect the respiratory tract and causes respiratory symptoms. Sneezing, coughing, and hacking.”


Serrano also noted parents should take this seriously, as the disease can “progress to something more serious, pneumonia, fever, lethargy, not eating.” Cases may mostly be in South Florida for now, but we have all seen how fast viruses can spread.

Animal facilities like Miami-Dade Animal Services have temporarily suspended certain services like in-person adoption events and owner surrenders to reduce the surge.

How Dog Parents Can Protect Their Dogs And Others

If your dog has not yet been infected, there are ways you can keep them from contracting CIRDC. Dr. Serrano suggested these actions:

Stay away from places that have dogs conglomerating. So dog parks, groomers, just anywhere where there’s a lot of dogs together. Also, avoid nose to nose contact between dogs.”

Since the virus spreads through direct contact with an infected dog or people who have been exposed, it can live on clothing, hands, or other items like food bowls, leashes, toys, and bedding. You should avoid letting your dog share toys and bowls with others until cases go down.

Disinfect your surfaces and wash toys and bedding in warm to hot water. You should also refrain from petting unknown dogs (wash your hands thoroughly with soap if you do!)

Fortunately, there is a treatment for CIRDC. If you detect symptoms of the disease in your dog, take them to the vet for diagnosis and antibiotics. The incubation period of the illness is three to 10 days. If your dog gets infected, they could be sick for two weeks to a month.

Share this article to let other dog parents know of the risks and prevention methods.

H/T: CBS Local