New Mexico Faces Mysterious Dog Illness: Essential Information for Pet Owners on Recognizing and Addressing Kennel Cough


A lot of people get respiratory illnesses in the fall and winter. Dogs are the ones most hurt this season.

A dog disease spread that is affecting dogs all over the country is still being looked into by experts. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the disease is part of the canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC). This group of viruses includes the canine parainfluenza and influenza viruses, the canine respiratory coronavirus, and the canine distemper virus.

A lot of people call CIRDC “kennel cough.”

In a guide released on December 6, the AVMA said that the pathogens that are causing the current spread are still being found.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture says these are some of the symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing and/or sneezing
  • Fever
  • Discharge from eyes and/or nose
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite

It is suggested that dog owners contact their main vet if their dog starts to show any of these signs. More so if their pets show signs of:

  • Lingering cough
  • Weakness
  • Worsening of illness
  • Severe cough that hinders breathing or causes vomiting

AVMA said that numerous things can raise a dog’s likelihood of getting sick, such as

  • Short-nose breeds, such as French Bulldogs
  • Very young or old age
  • Compromised immune system
  • Pre-existing respiratory disease or heart disease

How do I protect my dog from a respiratory illness?

The AMVA said that CIRDC cases are not always a reason to be worried because they happen all the time. The signs will be mild for most dogs, and they will be better in seven to ten days.

Dog owners should make sure their dogs have all of their shots up to date to keep them healthy. This makes it less likely that your dog will get sick, and if they do get a virus, the shots will make it less likely that their symptoms will be very bad.

Dogs should get vaccinated against canine influenza, Bordetella, and canine parainfluenza.

Experts also say that dogs shouldn’t be in public places like dog parks, training facilities, and groomers.

The advice says that dogs may be infectious even if they don’t show any signs. Dog owners should limit their dog’s interactions with dogs they don’t know, especially if they don’t know the dogs’ health or vaccination status.

To stop the spread to other dogs, people should also wash their hands after playing with dogs. Experts from the AVMA said that people are not at a high risk of getting a virus from a dog with CIRDC, but it is still possible.

Dogs that are sick shouldn’t be around other dogs.

Is mysterious dog illness in New Mexico?

On December 1, the state Department of Agriculture said that dogs in the state had shown signs of the illness. Veterinarians are working with the AVMA and other states that have sent information to find the virus, the department said. State samples from dogs that might be sick are being sent to the University of New Hampshire, which is in charge of the investigation.

A map made by shows that this season there have been cases in most states across the country. But the cases don’t just include those with the strange illness; they also include cases of all viruses that fall under CIRDC.

People who own dogs are told not to worry if their pet is barking. Veterinarians tell pet owners to keep in touch with their pet’s main vet and let them know if symptoms get worse or don’t go away.

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