Dog Show Crud


Many of us enjoy going to the dog shows as spectators and watching the different breeds go around the ring.  How many of us have taken our pets with us to these shows, not knowing the danger or the risk we take each time we attend one of these events?  Many breeders will tell you that their dogs take a risk of exposure to illness every time they show, and we as pet owners, take the same risk when we bring our pets to the dog shows.


Dog shows consistently bring dogs together from different parts of the country and the world, and these dogs are exposed to illnesses that they may not have immunity towards.  Breeders travel with their dogs to many different places, and some show dogs are even shipped for breeding purposes.  So when a dog is sick at a dog show in Portland and two or three other dogs walk across the floor and get sick, that illness could be in Orlando, Dallas, New York, or any city that has a dog show within a week’s period. 


 “Dog Show Crud” has been around for a very long time.  Every year there are warnings about dog show crud, but as any breeder will tell you, in reality, there is no illness that is actually called "dog show crud".  The term dog show crud is used to define the illnesses that appear at the dog shows, somewhat similar to what humans experience with the flu virus.  Each year it may be a different strain of flu, but none the less, it is the flu.  The flu may make most people sick, and there are those who will actually die from the flu.  The illnesses that affect the show dog world appear with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea and sometimes coughing.  Vets often diagnose as Parvo and treat it as such.  Dogs often do not respond to the treatment and many die.  It is not the same strain of illness from year to year. There is some thought, that this illness may be a strain of lepto that our dogs today are not immunized against.


Brucellosis is another disease that show dog breeders have to contend with, and many do not commonly test for this disease.  Brucellosis is a horribly contagious disease that can also be contracted by humans from infected animals.  If a human gets this disease it can cause serious health problems, including infertility.  Despite all the warnings, most show breeders do not test for brucellosis, nor do they require other dogs to be tested before they will do a breeding.  This disease is sexually transmitted.  It can also be transmitted through saliva.  If a dog drools on the floor as it is walking along, then another dog walks through the secretion of saliva, and the second dog licks its paws, it is possible that brucellosis could be transmitted.   Since brucellosis is a human health risk, when a dog is diagnosed with this disease, the health department must be notified.  The kennel/home is quarantined and many times dogs are required to be euthanized.  Despite the seriousness of this disease, many people do not consider brucellosis testing a necessary requirement.


These are just a few of the illness that impact the dog show world, and can possibly expose your pet to serious illness each time you attend a dog show with your pet in tow.  The next time a dog show is in your area, you may seriously want to consider leaving your pet at home while you attend.


If you do attend a dog show, take a few extra precautions when you return home to protect your pet. Remove your shoes before entering your home and sanitize your shoes with a rag and some bleach or a bleach based spray.  Also remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap prior to picking up Fido for that Welcome home hug and kiss!



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