Enigmatic Respiratory Illness Targets Dogs – These Are The Symptoms

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

A mysterious and seemingly quite dangerous dog respiratory illness is spreading across the United States– and has veterinarians perplexed. This illness is compared to pneumonia, as it starts with coughing and gradually worsens. To make matters even worse, the illness seems to be resistant to common antibiotics.

Officials are now releasing  statements that say dogs are most likely to contract this enigmatic illness directly through contact with other dogs. What this means is that the danger lurks in dog parks, grooming salons, kennels, and any other place where a lot of dogs can be found.

While there are some enigmatic aspects to the disease, there are ways, luckily, to recognize it quickly. The most common symptoms to keep an eye out for are coughing, trouble breathing, wheezing, sneezing, nasal and eye discharge, fatigue, lethargy, and so on. According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, dogs who exhibit these symptoms may also test negative for common causes of respiratory illnesses. 

Needless to say, owners who spot these symptoms in their dogs should go to the vet immediately. In the meantime, vets are advising owners to avoid places with a lot of dogs for the time being, and also to make sure that their pets are “up to date” with all the necessary vaccinations. 

And although it is a new illness, officials at the Oregon Department of Agriculture have said that three main categories of cases can already be observed.

  1. Chronic mild-moderate tracheobronchitis with a prolonged duration (6 to 8 weeks or longer) that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics. 
  2. Chronic pneumonia that is minimally or not responsive to antibiotics.
  3. Acute pneumonia rapidly becomes severe and often leads to poor outcomes in as little as 24-36 hours.

Checkups are advised, of course, and vets urge owners to schedule visits before exposing their dogs to potentially dangerous environments. According to officials, the illness had been reported in the following U.S. states: Washington, Idaho, Illinois, California, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Oregon, and New Hampshire.

“Reduce contact with large numbers of unknown dogs.” the officials advise. “Just like with other respiratory pathogens, the more contacts your dog has, the greater the risk of encountering a dog that’s infectious.”

While experts advise dog owners to be careful, but not to worry too much without a reason. Needless to say, you should avoid contact with dogs that look sick or exhibit symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or runny nose and eyes. Do your best to keep your dog away from them. Another thing to avoid is communal water sources from which many dogs drink. 

And if your four-legged friend exhibits these symptoms, make sure to keep them at home in order to keep other dogs safe – and of course contact a vet to make sure they get the right treatment on time.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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