A mysterious respiratory illness that has been impacting dogs is spreading across the United States while veterinarians try to determine its causes and the best methods for treating it.
The symptoms are similar to kennel cough, an upper respiratory infection, but can last much longer and, in some cases, be fatal, according to veterinarians.
Here is what we know:
What are the symptoms?
The infected dogs develop a cough, fever, lethargy and intermittent loss of appetite. Some dogs will develop pneumonia while infected. Veterinarians have reported seeing blue and purple gums in those cases.
Dogs with kennel cough may show some of these symptoms, such as coughing, lack of appetite, fever and lethargy. With the latest respiratory illness, however, dogs can have symptoms for six weeks or more.
Where has this been reported?
The illness has been found in at least seven states: Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Illinois, Maryland and Wyoming.
The overall number of dogs with respiratory illnesses has not increased. If dogs are showing symptoms, there are steps owners can take to be proactive, he said.
The cause is not clear.
It’s unclear what causes the illness. Researchers are still running tests to learn more about the illness. There is some disagreement on whether the illness is caused by a virus or by bacteria.
Researchers strongly agree that dogs are most likely to develop the illness when they have been around other dogs.
“Researchers strongly agree that dogs are most likely to develop the illness when they have been around other dogs. “If dogs are showing signs of respiratory disease, isolate them in the home, call your vet, get them seen.”
“All of us have gone through Covid,” he said. “I would say if your dog is showing signs of respiratory disease, isolate them in the home, call your vet, get them seen.”