The Buzz About The Canine Respiratory Disease 2024

Article by Mimi Davis, Owner of Curbside Clippers, January 2024

What You Should Know About the Canine Respiratory Disease 2024

First and foremost, this is not new; the Canine Respiratory Disease has been known since the end of 2021; well, at least many of us in the professional dog world knew about it. Secondly, I participated in a veterinary talk led by three veterinarians, two from the United States and one from Canada, where they have a smaller number of cases.


Most dogs that get this so far have either been young or not vaccinated after baby shots, and those are older and dogs with underlying medical issues. Additionally, they stated that dogs who are classified as brachycephalic; you would refer to them as smooshed, squished, flat faces. From Pug to Cane Corso’s are more susceptible; I question that since I have known long-nosed dogs as German Shepherds that have had it. I should add that they were older dogs.


It can be difficult to tell the difference between the normal respiratory illness that dogs get until it transforms into the following symptoms: fever, not eating, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. Do people in the Denver/Metro area remember when most of the shelters were shut down with canine flu a few years ago? It usually goes around on a frequent basis. The best way to put this is kennel cough on steroids.


Testing has to be done at the first signs of illness of which most pet owners would not know the difference. The Canadian veterinarian said selling a $150 test to a pet owner is hard if the results are inaccurate. This means the tests must be given immediately at best to get any sense of a true result, which veterinarians are not even happy with. There is not enough money to run and research this.


Fewer risks if your dog is up to date on all vaccines. I chuckled at that, as you know if you board your dog they have to have a kennel cough vaccine, what you will see on your vet receipt as Bordetella. Many also know their dog can come out of boarding with kennel cough. Why? There are over 150 variants of kennel cough, the vaccine covers less than 10, similar to the people flu vaccine or now covid vaccine. Viruses love mutation; that is why so many vaccines are changed every year. Canine Respiratory Illness is that it is airborne, not surface contact, exactly like kennel cough, which everyone already knew.


Colorado Canine Respiratory Illness cases are at 36.46% for the entire State compared to which is higher at Oregon at 61.86%. (image provided by

Canine Respiratory Disease 2024

Testing and treating is more accurate with growing a culture, which few veterinarians do here unless it is CSU, which might do it working with the Canadian veterinarian. They have found so far that dogs that are healthy are testing positive.

The bottom line is they have no idea now than a few years ago. As the Canadian veterinarian stated, use common sense; if you are out at the dog park or walking and you hear a dog hacking their lungs out, move away. “Don’t panic, and don’t stop living life with your dog.”


Canine Respiratory Disease 2024 Related to Grooming, Boarding, Day Care, & Veterinarian

I have never had a canine contagion, but once in 37 years in my mobile dog grooming van business. A veterinarian suggested to a client of mine with a dog who had been sick to use a mobile dog groomer; it would be a good idea. Unfortunately, the dog was still contagious (kennel cough) but feeling much better. This, unfortunately, was the second dog of the day. I had to cancel the rest of the day out of over paranoia, disinfect the entire van, air it out, and I went straight to that vet’s office, where his ears were ringing by the time I left.


Think about this: no business, grooming, boarding, daycare, or veterinarian will allow contagious, sickly animals around other dogs! We all are responsible for our dog and every other dog we come in contact with. Please do not forget that most of us also have our dogs that are at risk daily, so we all take precautions.



If I go to someone’s house, the dog is coughing or not acting right by my standards, I’m not grooming your dog no matter what it may or may not have. In 37 years, my background in animals, you will be hard-pressed to lie your way out of your dog being sick because you want them groomed. I don’t care what storefront, boarding, or daycare facility you visit. Do you think they will let a hacking dog in?


As a business owner, I ensure I always disinfect, shut down if necessary, and have a reputation to keep. None of us need the money that badly to knowingly take in a sick animal so it can infect other animals. I would instead take my dog to any of the above before going to a disease-infested dog park that carries so many diseases that they would take up too much room to list. Just ask your veterinarian how disgusting dog parks are.



As the Canadian veterinarian said, please stop panicking; don’t stop what you have done. Again, this is been around for a few years; it has been only this year that the media has made a production out of it as usual.