Update and Clarifications Regarding Recent Mycroplasna Cynos Outbreak

This outbreak was first identified as a respiratory infection.  It involved a property that had recently imported a bitch from Australia.

The outbreak has now spread into the general dog population and therefore we advise everyone to be careful, take precautions, and watch for signs and symptoms.

The cause needed to be identified which was why swabs that were sent to the laboratory went on to the laboratory in Brisbane Australia for identification as they could not be tested locally.

It was necessary to confirm what we were dealing with so the original kennel close down was a rolling one in that the 10 days was reset with every new case. Once the result showed it to be Mycoplasma cynos,   It was also necessary to confirm whether this was a new organism in New Zealand.  Fortunately, a previous import risk analysis by MPI and the kennel cough study done at Massey University showed that this organism had already been identified in New Zealand as an incidental finding.   It would likely have caused further restrictions had this not been the case. 

The incubation period was 4 – 7 days, so a standard approach of standing down a kennel that had dogs with symptoms for 1.5 times the incubation period, i.e. 10 days was put in place.

Any infected dogs that had been taken to the track and were found to have the condition have been stood down for 21 days.  This restriction continues and will be applied under our rules.

Our approach was similar to what we did with the Canine Corona Enteric Virus earlier in the year and more recently when there was an outbreak of Canine Parvovirus near Wanganui.

This outbreak has rapidly spread with 36  properties becoming affected within the first month of it being detected.  This demonstrates the virulence of this Mycoplasma despite the biosecurity (hygiene) and movement control measures that we have implemented.

We considered the option of complete cessation of all racing while this outbreak was occurring, but have opted for a strategy to try to enable race meetings to continue despite the depleted fields.

Individual dogs who are found to have symptoms when presenting at the track will still be stood down for the 21 days.

Kennels that immediately notify RIU of Kennel cough will be stood down for a 10 day incubation period from the time of notification. This is in line with the incubation period.

The board has agreed that GRNZ will assist any kennel that has to stand down for the 10days with food costs. In order to receive this assistance please contact GRNZ head office.

As well as protecting our dog population we also have to recognize that failure to prevent infected dogs, suffering from a respiratory infection, from racing is detrimental to the welfare of the dog.  

Also please note that due to this infection Australian Greyhound Racing has banned the import of any dogs from New Zealand during this time.

- The GRNZ Board

Posted on 22 December 2020

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