Cornell Margaret and Richard Riney Canine Health Center

Longer. Healthier. Happier.

Respiratory disease outbreak: New Hampshire and neighboring states, Aug. 25, 2022

Statement issued on August 25, 2022:

The Cornell Margaret and Richard Riney Canine Health Center (RCHC) is aware of increasing evidence of a severe respiratory disease presenting in dogs, which resembles a combination of kennel cough and pneumonia. While the outbreak originated in New Hampshire, it may be spreading to other parts of New England.

Dr. Brian Collins, extension associate at the RCHC and senior lecturer of community animal practice, says it's important to watch for new reports of canine respiratory disease in your area. 

He recommends that dog owners remain aware of the following situations that may increase your dog's risk of contracting this disease:

  1. If your dog attends daycare, goes to a groomer, dog training classes, dog parks or is in other situations where there will be groups of dogs, be proactive in asking about any recent cases of respiratory disease.
  2. Respiratory diseases are spread through direct dog-to-dog contact or through exposure from water droplets created by coughing or sneezing. These droplets can also contaminate objects such as bowls and toys, and even human hands.
  3. If your dog is experiencing any signs of illness — including coughing, sneezing, labored breathing, or ocular or nasal discharge — and particularly if your dog is also lethargic or has a decreased appetite, be sure to contact your veterinarian. Do not expose your dog to other dogs until you are certain your dog is not contagious. 
  4. Keep your dog up-to-date on any vaccinations recommended by your veterinarian. Be especially careful if you have a puppy that is not yet fully vaccinated, or if you have a senior dog or one that may have a weakened immune system. 

The RCHC will share updated recommendations as more information becomes available.

Learn more about managing severe diseases in dogs, such as kennel cough, parvovirus and leptospirosis.