Unknown Respiratory Illness Affecting Dogs in Our Region

Information and Tips to Keep Your Pets Healthy

Recent news stories have reported concern about an increase in severe respiratory illnesses in dogs in our region. Infectious respiratory diseases in dogs can be caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria. At this time, the underlying cause(s) for the illnesses reported is unknown.

Veterinary and animal training experts from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) answered some frequently asked questions about respiratory illnesses and steps pet guardians can take to protect their dogs.

What can/should people do to prevent, or protect, their pets against respiratory illnesses?
  • Pet guardians can help reduce their dog’s risk of infectious diseases with vaccination.
  • People should talk with their veterinarian about recommended vaccinations, especially if their dog will be boarding, if they visit daycare or grooming facilities, or engage with other dogs in the community.
  • Anyone with a dog that isn’t feeling well, or who has respiratory symptoms, should contact their veterinarian and their dog should stay home/away from other dogs until they are well.
Has HSBV seen increased cases of severe respiratory disease in dogs?
  • Fortunately, HSBV’s Veterinary Hospital, Shelter teams and Training programs have not seen increased cases of severe respiratory disease recently. We also have not seen any unusual trends in respiratory illness in dogs entering our facility.
  • HSBV maintains vigilant standards of care, processes, and protocols to keep animals safe and healthy.
  • Managing animals who come to our facility, with a focus on disease control, is an important and daily act of our staff, volunteers and visitors.
  • We work diligently to identify animals with signs of respiratory illness and take appropriate action when needed, which can include:
    • Putting them in safe quarantine.
    • Providing them with the veterinary treatment they need to get healthy.
    • Consulting with our diagnostic lab, and/or other area shelters, if we do see changes.
What if my dog is signed up for group training classes or services at HSBV? Will they be safe?
  • All HSBV public training classes and Puppy Club services require proof of current vaccinations, prior to class attendance.
  • We do not allow animals to join these classes or training sessions if they are not up to date on vaccinations, if there is lack of evidence that the vaccinations were given, or if the dog appears unwell in our presence.
  • If there are medical concerns about a dog after the animal has been in our training classes, we contact clients about their dog’s potential exposure to this animal and recommend they follow up with their veterinarian.
  • If your dog has any symptoms of illness, including coughing, sneezing, eye or nose discharge OR if your dog has interacted with another dog with these symptoms, they should not attend training class(es).