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In light of recent reports from the United States about a mysterious respiratory illness affecting dogs, pet owners, particularly in Canada, are growing increasingly concerned. Furbaby Pet Care delves into what is known about this illness and what Canadian pet owners should be aware of.

Understanding the Respiratory Illness

The Emerging Concern
Recent coverage by CTV news has highlighted over 200 cases of a respiratory illness in dogs, documented by the Oregon Department of Agriculture since mid-August. This illness, characterized by lasting respiratory disease and pneumonia, has been noted for its resistance to antibiotics. Kurt Williams, the director of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, has confirmed that some dogs have succumbed to this illness, which currently lacks a definitive diagnostic test.

Expert Insights

Is This Illness a Cause for Alarm in Canada?
Dr. Scott Weese is a veterinary internal medicine specialist and the chief of Infection Control at the Ontario Veterinary College. In speaking to the media recently, Dr. Weese emphasized that while there is an apparent increase in respiratory disease cases in dogs, such illnesses are not uncommon. The key question is whether these cases represent a spike in usual occurrences, the emergence of a new pathogen, or simply increased awareness.

Symptoms and Diagnosis Challenges
The symptoms of this illness mirror those of typical respiratory conditions in dogs, including coughing, runny nose, and lethargy. Dr. Weese pointed out that while most dogs show mild symptoms, a minority may develop severe conditions like pneumonia. The difficulty in diagnosing this illness stems from the impracticality of extensive testing, given the myriad of pathogens that can cause respiratory issues in dogs.

The Canadian Context

Prevalence in Canada
Dr. Weese noted that the situation in Canada is not entirely clear. While there have been sporadic clusters of respiratory diseases in dogs, it remains uncertain whether there is a significant increase or just heightened awareness among pet owners.

Recommendations for Pet Owners

Vigilance Over Panic
Dr. Weese advises Canadian pet owners to practice vigilance and common sense rather than panic. He recommends keeping sick dogs at home and away from others and considering vaccination for certain respiratory diseases. The key is to balance reducing dog contacts without being overly restrictive, akin to managing colds and flu in children.

Understanding Respiratory Diseases in Dogs
It’s important to recognize that respiratory diseases in dogs are diverse, and terms like pneumonia are outcomes of these illnesses rather than specific diseases themselves. These are typically caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses.

Staying Informed and Prepared
As this situation continues to develop, Furbaby Pet Care encourages pet owners to stay informed, follow veterinary advice, and take sensible precautions to protect the health and well-being of their furry family members.

Our Commitment at Furbaby Pet Care:

  • We use veterinarian-approved cleaning solutions
  • Disinfection of runs after each use
  • Continuous fresh air through our air-exchange system
  • Mandatory up-to-date vaccinations: rabies, parvo/distemper, bordetella
  • Immediate isolation and parental contact for any symptomatic dogs


This illness is not originated in boarding or daycare facilities. It’s brought in by other dogs. Help us keep all our dogs safe. Please inform Furbaby Pet Care of any health issues before your visit.