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Canine Respiratory Disease Advisory

Friday, December 1, 2023

The Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) has recently received multiple reports from veterinary practitioners across the country regarding increased incidence of canine respiratory disease of unknown etiology resulting in pneumonia. Many affected dogs have histories of visiting canine daycare centers, boarding facilities, and dog parks. The reported cases have not responded to normal treatment protocols and experienced a longer, more severe disease course than typical for canine infectious respiratory disease complex. 

Practitioners presented with similar cases are encouraged to perform diagnostic testing immediately, during the acute phase of disease (ideally during the first week of clinical disease) and prior to initiating treatment.  Delaying diagnostics may result in negative test results, as detection of some viruses may be inhibited by a rapid immune response, and antibiotic treatment may impede bacterial growth and detection. The AHDC Veterinary Support Services (VSS) team is available for diagnostic consultation on these cases and can arrange to have appropriate transport media or specimen collection containers overnighted when necessary. Please call (607) 253-3900 or email vetsupport@cornell.edu to reach a VSS veterinarian.

Canine Respiratory Diagnostic Plan

Tests Performed

Test Code

Samples needed

Aerobic Bacterial Culture

AER

  • Swab of transtracheal wash (TTW) (preferred sample) or swab of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in Amies transport media or BAL/TTW fluid in red top tube

  • Fresh lung

Anaerobic Bacterial Culture

ANAER

  • Swab of transtracheal wash (TTW) (preferred sample) or swab of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in anaerobic transport media

  • Fresh lung (>2-3 cm in diameter, minimum size)

  • Swab of lung or piece of lung tissue aseptically collected and immediately placed in anaerobic transport media

Canine Respiratory Panel

*Panel consists of multiple PCR assays:

  • Canine Adenovirus Virus
  • Canine Distemper Virus
  • Canine Parainfluenza Virus
  • Canine Pneumovirus
  • Beta-Coronavirus
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Mycoplasma Cynos
  • Streptococcus zooepidemicus
  • Influenza A Virus (comprehensive Influenza Virus detection
  • Canine Herpesvirus-1

CRPNL

  • Nasal swab in viral transport media or red top tube with 0.5ml of sterile saline

  • Transtracheal wash (TTW) (preferred sample) or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in red top tube

  • Fresh lung

Fecal Flotation

FLOAT

  • Fresh feces in leak-proof container

Fungal Culture

FUNGCM

  • Bronchial alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in red top tube (alternatively can use viral transport media)

  • Transtracheal wash (TTW) (preferred)

  • Fresh lung

Fungal Serology Panel

FUNGSER

  • Serum in a red top tube

Histopathology

HISTO

  • Full set of tissues placed in formalin

Mycoplasma Culture

MYCOPL

  • Swab of transtracheal wash (TTW) (preferred sample) or swab of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in Amies transport media or BAL/TTW fluid in red top tube

  • Fresh lung

Small Animal Hemogram

SA  CBC

  • (2) air dried blood smears

  • EDTA whole blood (lavender top tube)

Tracheal Wash Cytology

TWE

  • (2) air dried slides of tracheal wash fluid

  • Tracheal wash fluid in EDTA