The outbreak is not caused by any of the usual suspects.
Kennel cough is an infectious respiratory disease caused by bacteria and viruses; the new strain arrived last month, it seems, according to a press release from the BC SPCA. He was first spotted in Kamloops.
“All of the dogs we were caring for that were showing symptoms were immediately isolated, but when we started looking for known viruses and bacteria the tests came back negative. After consulting with specialists, we believe that the cause could be a virus that is not detected by commercially available tests, ”explains Dr. Emilia Gordon, senior director of animal health at the BC SPCA.
The organization is working with specialists and laboratories to understand the cause.
So far, 24 cases have been identified in BC SPCA facilities and more cases have been reported in communities.
The BC SPCA is warning the public of the outbreak, urging anyone who notices their dog is coughing to isolate them and call a veterinarian. Other symptoms include a discharge from the eye or nose.
“None of the dogs got seriously ill and all are recovering, but the worrying aspect of these cases is the aggressiveness of the disease spread between the dogs, even though they were not in close contact,” Gordon explains.
Some dogs that have been affected have been vaccinated against common viruses, but it appears the cause of the current outbreak is not affected by the vaccine.