Highly contagious respiratory virus affecting Miami-Dade dogs identified as canine pneumovirus – CBS Miami
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The highly contagious canine respiratory virus that has Miami-Dade Animal Services urging dog owners to vaccinate their pets and limit dog-to-dog contact has been identified as canine pneumovirus, a respiratory virus relatively new in dogs, according to Miami-Dade Animal Services.
The virus, which has not been widely studied, has an incubation period of less than a week and can spread before dogs develop symptoms. Most symptoms are mild, including sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and coughing, but more severe cases can lead to pneumonia.
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It is one of the viruses of the Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC).
“The canine infectious respiratory disease complex is like a canine flu or a canine cold. These are several viruses that affect the airways and cause respiratory symptoms. Sneezing, coughing and hacking,” said Dr. Maria Serrano, veterinarian at Animal Services.
According to Miami-Dade Animal Services, there has been a recent increase in the number of CIRDC cases reported in South Florida.
“Stay away from places where dogs congregate. So dog parks, groomers, anywhere there are a lot of dogs together. Also, avoid nose-to-nose contact between dogs,” Serrano said.
Miami-Dade Animal Services has temporarily suspended services related to the following dogs at their Pet Adoption and Care Center in Doral.
- Wellness clinic – Sterilization surgeries, vaccinations, microchipping
- Reception – Purchase by the owner
- Offsite Pet Adoption Events
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The virus is transmitted by direct contact with an infected dog and by contact with people who have been exposed to the virus. The virus can be carried on clothing, hands, and on objects such as food/water bowls, collars/leashes, toys, and bedding.
However, it is easily killed by most disinfectants, washing hands with soap and water, normal washing of clothes, and washing bowls and toys with soap and water.
Dr Serrano said the virus passes through droplets in the air and is highly contagious. She said dog owners should treat it like COVID, keep a safe distance from other dogs as it has the potential to be dangerous.
“It can progress to something more serious, pneumonia, fever, lethargy, not eating,” she said.
As it is a virus, there is no antibiotic to treat the disease.
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Humans and cats cannot catch the virus.
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