Various veterinary laboratories in multiple states are currently conducting investigations into an uncommon respiratory illness that is impacting dogs.
While veterinarians are working diligently to identify the cause of this illness, pet owners must take necessary precautions to ensure the well-being of their pets.
Dogs are Coming Down
Several states, including Oregon, Colorado, and New Hampshire, have documented instances of this illness. It can result in chronic respiratory disease and pneumonia that is not responsive to antibiotics.
Typical signs of respiratory illness in canines include coughing, sneezing, nasal or ocular discharge, and lethargy. Occasionally, pneumonia can rapidly worsen, causing severe dog disease within 24 to 36 hours.
Since mid-August, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has recorded over 200 instances of the disease. Pet owners are advised to consult their vet if their dog shows signs of illness, while state veterinarians have been instructed to report any cases promptly.
National Veterinary Services Laboratory
Collaborating with state researchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory, the agency aims to identify the cause of these illnesses.
According to Kurt Williams, director of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University, there have been reports of dog fatalities.
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However, due to the lack of an established disease definition or testing method, it is challenging to determine the exact number of dogs that have died from a severe form of the infection.
Williams shared a straightforward message for dog owners: “Stay calm.” Additionally, he advised ensuring pets are vaccinated, including for respiratory illnesses.
Various laboratories across the country are collaborating to uncover the cause of a mysterious disease. Dr. David Needle, a senior veterinary pathologist at the University of New Hampshire’s New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, has dedicated nearly a year to investigating this phenomenon.
Samples from dogs in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts have been examined by his lab and colleagues at the university’s Hubbard Center for Genome Research. Additional samples from Oregon, Colorado, and potentially other states are expected.
The person mentioned that their team has not observed a significant rise in canine fatalities caused by the disease. Nevertheless, they strongly advised pet owners to minimize interaction with other dogs.