Each fall and winter heralds a rise in respiratory illnesses in people–and also in dogs. Like humans, dogs can contract a number of hacking, wheezing, coughing, yucky illnesses that make them feel bad. Canine respiratory diseases get lumped together as canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC). These are a constellation of different illnesses resulting from viral, fungal, or bacterial infections.
One of the most common, kennel cough, spreads easily from dog to dog. It gets its name because dogs housed closely together in kennels, boarding facilities, shelters, and similar places provide the perfect transmission opportunity. But recently, an apparent increase in dog respiratory disease has owners, and many vets concerned.