DOG OWNERS – Reports have been made of an as-of-yet unidentified respiratory illness that’s causing serious symptoms in dogs in several states, especially the west coast. This illness appears to be resistant to traditional treatments and has reportedly been fatal in some cases. Veterinarians are still working to learn more. While we don’t believe it’s cause for panic at this time, we recommend being cautious and taking the follow steps to keep your pets safe:
WHAT WE RECOMMEND:
- Ask your veterinarian for advice on which vaccinations your dog should have and ensure they are current on them.
- Your dog should avoid groups of dogs from outside your household and high-traffic areas such as doggy daycares, boarding kennels, dog parks, and communal water bowls.
- Contact your veterinarian if your dog displays symptom of respiratory diseases such as coughing, sneezing, nose and eye discharge, and lethargy. Avoid dogs with these symptoms, and if your dog is showing symptoms keep them quarantined at home until a doctor can see them. If your dog does become sick, a PCR test can help determine if the illness is viral or bacterial.
WHAT WE KNOW:
- The illness has primarily been reported from Oregon and surrounding northwest states, but potential cases have also been reported from other areas including New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
- The illness appears to be minimally/non-responsive to most treatment methods and may progress quickly to severe pneumonia.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW:
- At this time there is no known way to identify what’s causing the illness – veterinarians are hard at work to determine where it’s coming from and how to treat it.
- Because it can’t be definitively identified, it’s difficult to say which reported cases are cause for alarm and which ones are not. Until we know more, it’s best to be careful.
For now, we recommend an abundance of caution and keeping your dog away from groups of dogs from outside your household where disease is more likely to spread. When it comes to the health and safety of our pets, it’s always better to not take any risks. We are following the story closely and will keep you informed of any updates or new discoveries. Spread the word, and stay safe!