The New Dog Virus: Symptoms and Precautions

Learn about the symptoms of the new dog virus going around and how to protect your furry friend from it. As an expert in veterinary medicine, I share my insights on this concerning virus and the precautions pet owners should take.

The New Dog Virus: Symptoms and Precautions

As a veterinarian with years of experience, I have seen my fair share of canine illnesses. However, the recent outbreak of a new dog virus has caught the attention of pet owners and professionals alike. This virus, known as MCRI (Mild Canine Respiratory Infection), has been causing concern due to its severe form that can lead to life-threatening pneumonia and even death. One of the most alarming aspects of this virus is that it can persist for months once a cough develops. This is why it's crucial for pet owners to be aware of the symptoms and take necessary precautions to protect their furry friends.

Symptoms of MCRI

The symptoms of MCRI are similar to those caused by other known canine respiratory diseases, making it difficult to detect.

However, some common signs to look out for include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and lethargy. In severe cases, dogs may also experience difficulty breathing and loss of appetite. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it's important to seek veterinary care immediately. Early detection and treatment can prevent the virus from developing into a more serious form.

Precautions to Take

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. In the case of MCRI, this holds true.

The best way to protect your dog from this virus is by ensuring they are up to date with their vaccines. This includes vaccines related to respiratory illnesses such as Bordetella and canine influenza. While MCRI is different from these pathogens, respiratory diseases can sometimes be complicated by the presence of multiple causes. In veterinary medicine, this is known as a canine infectious respiratory disease complex or "kennel cough". Some experts have even suggested that the recent increase in cases may be related to the easing of COVID restrictions and dogs socializing more. Additionally, if your dog is showing any symptoms, it's important to isolate them from other dogs and have the owners come to pick them up.

This not only helps with disease monitoring but also allows your veterinarian to recommend appropriate next steps based on your pet's symptoms.

Safe Environments for Dogs

When it comes to boarding schools, daycare centers, and dog parks, it's essential to be aware of the risks involved. These are places where dogs can easily transmit diseases to one another. As a precaution, make sure your dog is up to date with their vaccines before taking them to these environments. Accredited kennels and nurseries are considered "controlled environments" with on-site personnel who can detect any possible illness or problem among the dogs in their care. In these facilities, care personnel often inspect prospective dogs "from snout to tail" for signs of illness. In the case of kennel cough, dogs are typically considered safe to be around other dogs 14 days after they have stopped coughing.

However, it's always best to consult with your veterinarian before exposing your dog to other animals.

The Importance of Good Nutrition

Another crucial aspect of keeping your dog healthy is ensuring they receive good nutrition. A well-balanced diet can help boost their immune system and make them less susceptible to illnesses like MCRI. Although the symptoms of MCRI may appear similar to those caused by other respiratory diseases, this new virus does not respond as effectively to existing medications. This is why early detection and prevention are key in protecting your dog's health.


As a pet owner, it's natural to worry about your dog's health. While it's impossible to completely eliminate the risk of them getting sick, taking necessary precautions can greatly reduce the chances.

Keep an eye out for any symptoms and make sure your dog is up to date with their vaccines. And remember, always consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog's health.

Paul Geary
Paul Geary

Avid dog owner and trainer. As a Healthcare provider I am here to share my knowledge of health issues for pets and dogs, in particular

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