The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out about a recent announcement from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that it has received multiple reports of dogs experiencing a sudden respiratory illness of unknown origin. Symptoms for dogs include cough, nasal discharge, sneezing, and lethargy.
Related to this, the Vanderpump Dog Foundation cancelled its World Dog Day 2023 event, which had been scheduled to take place in West Hollywood Park on Saturday, December 2, 2023. The cancellation was made to ensure all necessary precautions are taken to safeguard the health and wellness of dogs. The event is anticipated to be rescheduled in 2024.
Currently, LA County Public Health is in case-finding mode to determine if and to what extent there is a new respiratory illness impacting dogs in Los Angeles County and is communicating with federal and state entities to ensure efforts are coordinated.
According to LA County Public Health, the respiratory illness impacting dogs is currently known as Atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (aCIRD). Cases are currently defined as having a negative canine respiratory PCR test panel, which tests for common viruses and bacteria identified in dogs with similar symptoms, plus one of the following clinical scenarios:
· Chronic mild to moderate respiratory infection that lasts more than six weeks that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics;
· Chronic pneumonia that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics; or
· Acute pneumonia that rapidly becomes severe and often leads to poor outcomes in as little as 24 to 36 hours.
Given the lack of knowledge about the cause of this disease, LA County Public Health is advising dog owners to look out for symptoms such as cough, sneezing, nasal discharge, and lethargy in their dogs. If a dog is experiencing these symptoms, owners should take the following steps:
1. Contact their pet’s veterinarian so the pet may be evaluated, and, if indicated, the appropriate tests and medications may be provided.
2. Isolate sick dogs at home for a minimum of 28 days past the first day of the onset of illness. Dogs exposed to the sick dog should quarantine at home and away from other dogs for 14 days to monitor them for signs and symptoms of illness.
3. Clean regularly and disinfect surfaces, doorknobs, keyboards, and animal equipment. To disinfect, use an EPA-registered disinfecting product or a stronger bleach solution.
4. Keep the dog home and away from day care, boarding kennels, grooming facilities, and dog parks.
5. If a dog becomes ill after being boarded or being in a facility, owners should take it to a veterinarian for evaluation and they should also notify the facility about the illness.
At this time, the City of West Hollywood will maintain regular operations and cleaning for William S. Hart Dog Park and Dog Parks at West Hollywood Park, keeping them open. Advisory information about Atypical Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (aCIRD) will be posted in these park areas. The City will maintain close contact with LA County Public Health on this topic in the event that local officials deem additional steps should be taken.
For more information from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, please contact [email protected] or (213) 240-8144.