MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Animal Services is urging dog owners to keep a watch on their pets out in public as a new highly contagious disease spreads across South Florida.
It’s called Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC).
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Animal Services said there have been many cases of CIRDC reported throughout South Florida. They urge dog owners to help protect their pets from the spread of the virus by keeping their dogs current on routine vaccines and avoiding dog parks and other settings with multiple dogs.
To protect the pets in its facility, Animal Services is temporarily suspending the following services until further notice for their dogs.
- Wellness Clinic – Spay/Neuter surgeries, vaccinations, microchipping
- Receiving – Owner surrender
- Offsite pet adoption events
CIRDC is highly contagious and can pose a serious health risk to dogs. The disease can spread rapidly among dogs that are housed together or those in close proximity to each other such as in kennels, dog parks, or grooming facilities.
Coughing dogs produce virus-containing mists that can travel 20 feet or more.
It is spread 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 people’s clothing, hands, and on items such as food/water bowls, collars/leashes, toys, and bedding.
However, it is easily killed by most disinfectants, handwashing with soap and water, normal laundering of clothing, and washing bowls and toys with soap and water.
Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and discharge from the nose and/or eyes.
Individuals who think their dog may be showing signs of CIRDC should contact their veterinarian immediately.