Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) in Oregon: An Emerging Concern

In recent months, the state of Oregon has seen a surge in cases of an atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), causing concern among dog owners and veterinarians alike12. This blog post aims to shed light on this emerging issue, providing information on the disease, its symptoms, and the ongoing investigation.

What is CIRDC?

CIRDC is a syndrome of diseases that can be caused by several different—and often highly contagious—bacterial and viral pathogens in which coinfections are common3Clinical signs are frequently mild and self-limiting but some individual cases progress to severe disease and, in instances, death3.

CIRDC is sometimes called ‘kennel cough’ or ‘canine cough.’ There are many possible causes of CIRDC. At least nine different pathogens have been linked to this syndrome: Canine adenovirus type 2, Canine influenza virus, Canine parainfluenza virus, Canine distemper virus, Canine herpesvirus, Canine respiratory coronavirus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Strep. zooepidemicus, Mycoplasma species.

The Outbreak in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) first received reports of an atypical canine infectious respiratory illness being seen in dogs in the Portland Metro and Willamette Valley areas in August 20231To date, ODA has received over 200 reports of atypical canine infectious respiratory disease from Oregon veterinarians1Some of these reports were about illnesses that occurred earlier in the summer of 2023, prior to August1.

Symptoms and Clinical Syndromes

The cases reported to ODA appear to primarily fall within three general clinical syndromes13:

  1. Chronic mild-moderate tracheobronchitis with a prolonged duration (6-8 weeks or longer) that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics.
  2. Chronic pneumonia that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics.
  3. Acute pneumonia that rapidly becomes severe and often leads to poor outcomes in as little as 24-36 hours13.

Symptoms of CIRDC include coughing, sneezing, nasal and/or eye discharge, and lethargy1.

Ongoing Investigation

ODA is actively working with reporting veterinarians and specialists at OSU’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine (CCVM), the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (OVDL), and the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (USDA-NVSL) and other specialists to find the causative agent behind these cases1ODA has engaged with several emergency veterinary practices to begin widespread sampling of potential respiratory cases, which will be paired with PCR testing using generic primers, virus isolation, and rapid whole genome sequencing in hopes of diagnosing an etiologic agent1.

Should Dog Owners Be Worried?

While the number of cases reported to ODA represents an extremely small percentage of Oregon’s dog population, caution is advised1Periodic outbreaks of CIRDC can occur in a dog population1At least nine different known bacteria and viruses have been linked as causes of CIRDC, which is transmitted by respiratory droplets1Infection with more than one bacterial or viral agent is common1.


The recent outbreak of CIRDC in Oregon serves as a reminder of the importance of regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations for our furry friends. While investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of this atypical outbreak, dog owners are advised to monitor their pets for any signs of respiratory distress and seek veterinary care if needed.

Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story. Remember, the health and well-being of our pets is a shared responsibility. Let’s work together to keep our canine companions safe and healthy.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. If your pet is showing any signs of illness, please consult a veterinarian immediately.


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