Dog owners warned of highly contagious dog disease

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Miami-Dade Animal Services is warning pet owners about an outbreak of an infectious dog disease after multiple cases were reported in South Florida.

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), also known as “kennel cough” or “canine cough,” is a highly contagious disease that affects a dog’s respiratory system. The disease, which is very common, is caused by a group of viruses and bacteria, including the flu, and can be easily and quickly spread from dog to dog, according to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Infected dogs may exhibit coughing, sneezing, discharge from the nose and eyes and difficulty breathing.

Dr. Maria Serrano, a veterinarian at Animal Services, told CBSMiami there have been a number of cases of CIRDC among dogs in South Florida. She urged dog owners to avoid areas where dogs might congregate, such as dog parks and groomers.

“Also, avoid nose to nose contact between dogs,” Serrano added.

“If they’re having a hard time breathing, sniffing, coughing, things like that, please do not take them to a dog park. Take them to a vet and get some help, ”Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris told WESH.

Harris said he has not received any reports of kennel cough in Seminole County, but “we monitor for this all the time.”

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