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November, 2023

-Canine respiratory disease, and what we are doing to protect your pet-

As you may have heard, there is an unnamed respiratory illness affecting the canine population of the United States. At Hair of the Dog, we take your dog's health and safety very seriously. We are closely monitoring information as it develops. It is being reported as a "strange bacterium" that causes pneumonia-like symptoms in some dogs. Many dogs that contract the illness develop a cough and nasal discharge that resolves on its own.

The issue is being closely monitored by our State Veterinarian, and is actively being researched by a variety of laboratories, scientists, state veterinary agencies as well as the Department of Agriculture. According to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association: "While over 200 cases of atypical canine respiratory diseases have been reported by veterinarians to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Dr. Stephen Kochis. the chief medical officer for the Oregon Humane Society, told the New York Times he does not want people to panic because this figure represents a small number of all the dogs in the state. "We are not seeing an uptick in respiratory disease outside of the ordinary expectation for pets that would get respiratory disease" he says. 

While we recommend that dog owners exercise caution, it's not time to panic. Respiratory illnesses regularly occur in canine populations and are typically treatable. This particular disease has been circulating since spring, and most cases resolve on their own with minimal veterinarian oversight. If you notice that your dog is coughing, sneezing, wheezing, experiencing nasal and eye discharge, loss of appetite or lethargy please contact your veterinarian. Please avoid dog parks, and do not let your dog drink water from communal bowls. 

If your dog begins to experience these symptoms, please reschedule your appointment with us, and contact your veterinarian. Dogs who exhibit these symptoms will be placed in a secluded area of our salon, and we will request that the owner of the pet please pick them up in order to be removed from the facility, for the safety of other animals. We hope customers will understand that we do not want to turn anyone away, or lose revenue. But the safety of all pets in our care, is very important. 

Luckily, unlike dog parks or other communal areas, dogs do not come in contact with each other at Hair of the Dog. 

Please know that many boarding, daycare facilities, and salons are prepared to handle these situations and take extensive precautions to protect your pet and our businesses. Ask questions of the businesses you and your pet frequent. What steps are they taking?

We take sanitation seriously. As always, we will continue to sanitize all surfaces in between each dog. We use a broad spectrum disinfectant specifically designed for animal care facilities. This extensive cleaning includes tubs, tables, kennels, doors, walls and floors along with equipment, aprons and all human touch points as well, just in case. Our facility has excellent ventilation. This includes industrial fans, an exhaust fan that pulls air out of the building, a dehumidifier, as well as a 970 square foot (with a 25 foot ceiling, great for ventilation) facility, and our dogs are not held in tight proximity of each other compared to many facilities. Dogs are not allowed to come in contact with each other, and we no longer offer free roaming at our facility until this issue is fully resolved. We will continue to collect your pet from the curbside in order to prevent congregation in our lobby. We are confident that our facility is as safe as one can be for your pet. 

Lastly, please follow reputable scientific sources to keep up with this evolving situation. Many social media and influencer accounts are spreading misinformation and this can lead to mass hysteria. The best way to keep up to date is to call your veterinarian, follow the Department of Agriculture, Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, and exercise common-sense caution with your pet. 

As of now, we have not seen any cases come through the salon, nor have any clients reported any infections to us. Thank you so much for being a patron of ours and entrusting us with your best friend. We will update this page as new developments unfold. 


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