Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)

Dear NDSU VDL Clients:

Recently, the Fargo-Moorhead area and nearby communities have been experiencing an outbreak of canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC). Local veterinarians are noticing that cases require multiple rounds of treatment with limited response and prolonged clinical signs. Similarly reported cases in other parts of the country are also under investigation with a possible novel bacterium identified.

Testing at the NDSU VDL for typical canine respiratory pathogens has largely been negative to date. Thus, we are asking veterinarians to submit samples from acutely affected dogs who have presented within 3-4 days of clinical onset and who have not yet been treated with antibiotics or antivirals.

Samples requested include nasal and oral swabs, transtracheal washes or bronchial-alveolar lavage fluid, and fresh lung tissue. If submitting swabs, please submit two (one each for microbiology and molecular diagnostics testing). If sepsis is suspected, blood and urine cultures may also be indicated (pediatric blood tubes are available upon request).

During this current CIRDC outbreak, full work-up may include cytology, histology, cultures, multiple PCR tests, fluorescent antibody assays, electron microscopy, sequencing, and referral to outside laboratory for virus isolation. All testing will be performed for the cost of a canine respiratory panel ($110 plus submission fee of $10), which typically tests for influenza, distemper, and bacterial infections.

The NDSU VDL is here to provide diagnostic support services to our veterinary clients to help manage this serious outbreak. Together, we hope to find answers for your patients and provide essential information in management of the outbreak.

Please contact the NDSU VDL if you have any questions.