I remember the first time my dog got kennel cough.

It was scary as heck. I'd never owned a dog before, and had no idea this was a thing. He just started coughing uncontrollably in the middle of the night one night, and it just wouldn't stop. After a quick 3:00am trip to the Eastern Maine Emergency Veterinary Clinic, he was diagnosed with kennel cough and given some meds.


He was brand new to us, and had been through quite a journey on his way up here to Maine, herded in with a bunch of other dogs. so while it was no surprise where he got it, it was scary. And right now, a lot of people around Maine are starting to get similar scares, only they seem much worse.

The new illness is called CIRDC, for short.

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disorder Complex has been making the rounds all over the US, but hadn't been seen much in Maine until recently. According to a post from the EMEVC on Facebook, no one is 100% sure how it started or what it is, but it looks very similar to kennel cough.

Ill golden retriever on operating table in veterinarian's clinic


The symptoms include coughing, fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, and trouble breathing. The dog will also likely have some kind of discharge coming from the eyes and/or nose. If you're seeing anything like this, you should get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Early diagnosis can often help prevent the dog having to go on oxygen.

CIRDC is highly contagious, and there are some precautions to consider.

The biggest precaution, because the illness is transmitted from snout-to-snout, is to perhaps keep your dog home from doggie daycare, and maybe limit play dates for a bit. If your dog does get it, obviously get to the vet ASAP. Treatment, if caught early enough mostly just requires rest and isolation. It should clear up on its own.


It's never fun to see your dog sick, ever. But at least it seems like it's manageable. The big thing is not to wait. If your pooch seems ill, act quickly. But hey... we dog owners never let stuff slide. We just love them too much!

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