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Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD)

Tally Oaks Veterinary Service (TOVS) Can Protect Your Dog from Developing Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD)

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD) is commonly referred to as "kennel cough", and is caused by many different pathogens, including the following:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria
  • Parainfluenza virus (CPiV)
  • Adenovirus type 2 (CAV)
  • Distemper virus (CDV)
  • Influenza virus (CIV) H3N8
  • Respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV)

Any one of these pathogens can cause a primary infection, but dogs are often co-infected with more than one. Recent studies in the U.S. and Europe have provided evidence that viral pathogens are the more common primary cause of respiratory infections in dogs in shelters.  Viral replication damages the respiratory epithelium and mucociliary apparatus, providing opportunity for secondary infections by bacteria that exacerbate the severity and duration of disease. Conversely, primary infection by bacteria such as Bordetella, can destroy ciliated epithelial cells, and predispose to viral infections. 

TOVS carries a full line of vaccines to prevent the causes of CIRD:  
DA2PP(L) is an acronym for the common vaccine, sometimes referred to as canine distemper.  The letter “D” stands for Distemper virus (CDV), “A” stands for the Adenovirus (CAV-2), “P” for the Parvovirus and “P” for the Parainfluenza virus (CPiV), while “L” is for leptospirosis.  At TOVS, these combination vaccines are given to puppies in a series of 3-4 shots, given 2-3 weeks apart until they are 20 weeks of age and then are given every 3 years for the rest of the dog’s life.  The “L” in this vaccine stands for leptospirosis.  It has parentheses around it because this part of the vaccine needs to be given once a year for adequate protection and can be given as a separate, stand-alone shot. This combination vaccine provides CIRD protection from CDV, CAV-2 and CPiV. 
Bordetella Oral Vaccine: TOVS carriers Bronchi-Shield ORAL, the only kennel cough vaccine you can give orally.  This vaccine does not need to have a booster after the initial dose and is typically given only once a year.  Dogs that contract this disease may be ill for weeks and coughing can be so severe that dogs may lose weight and develop pneumonia.  It is also highly contagious and spreads quickly through kennels, grooming facilities, dog parks, and any place that groups of dogs congregate.    

Canine Influenza (CIV): TOVS now carries the canine influenza virus (H3N8) vaccine:  This vaccine is given subcutaneously, like the DA2PP(L), and requires one booster 2-3 weeks after the primary immunization.  After that the vaccine is administered once a year.  

Canine influenza emerged in the United States in greyhounds in Florida in 2003. The virus is now enzootic in many dog populations in across the United States. CIV can present with a mild form or a severe form.  Dogs with the mild form generally present with a soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days. Some dogs have a dry cough similar to the "kennel cough" caused by Bordetella/parainfluenza virus complex, resulting in mistaken diagnosis of this disease.  Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza develop high fevers (104°F to 106°F) and have clinical signs of hemorrhagic pneumonia. These clinical signs have a rapid onset, and can lead to death within 4-6hrs of presentation. 
Virtually all dogs are susceptible, because immunity has not developed in the canine population at large. Additionally, influenza viruses have the potential for antigenic drift, allowing them to evade host defenses. 

Which dogs need protection? 
Here at TOVS we believe that vaccine protocols for dogs shouldn’t be complicated.  The following recommendations are for adult dogs, who have had their primary vaccines:
•    DA2PP every three years (this protects against three causes of CIRD, in addition to parvovirus)
•    Leptospirosis once a year. (some exceptions to leptospirosis – toy breeds, allergic dogs)
•    Rabies every three years
•    Lyme vaccine once a year (after initial series)
The following two vaccines are recommended for dogs who engage in any of the following activities:  dog training or obedience classes, mingling at dog parks, boarding at kennels, participation in dogs shows, dogs who travel with their owners, and very importantly dogs who visit grooming facilities!  
•    Bordetella Oral Vaccine: once a year
•    Canine Influenza Vaccine: Once a year after the initial series

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:  CIRD or “kennel cough” is not a harmless, pesky little cough that always goes away on its own – it is also not caused by one pathogen, but rather at least six pathogens are capable of causing this disease.  Fortunately we have vaccines to protect against most of these pathogens.  
Call us to discuss your pet’s needs.  540 338 7081 or you can email Dr. Woerner at drtaniawoerner@tallyoaksvet.com.
These vaccines are affordable, effective and safe!

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