Mysterious Dog Illness Reported in 14 States, Leaving Vets Puzzled

Mysterious Dog Illness Reported in 14 States, Leaving Vets Puzzled

A mysterious respiratory illness in dogs that started during the summer has now been found in 14 states.

Dr. Rena Carlson, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, told USA Today the illness remains under investigation, as the source remains unknown.

ABC’s “Good Morning America” reported that the symptoms of the illness resemble those of kennel cough, which is highly contagious and can be fatal in severe cases.

Those symptoms include fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, discharge from the eye or nose, and fatigue.

In a statement to Newsweek, Carlson said, “Owners should monitor their dogs closely for progressive coughing that may be accompanied by signs of ocular or nasal discharges and sneezing.”

“Please consult your veterinarian immediately if those clinical signs develop, particularly if your dog concurrently loses its appetite, has trouble breathing, is coughing continuously, or is extremely lethargic,” she said.

As of Monday, the following states have been affected: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Dogs also have been staying sick longer as the illness is not responding to antibiotics, according to CBS News.

“Dogs with preexisting chronic respiratory illness may be more likely to develop pneumonia,” a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture representative told the outlet.

“Veterinarians are working to pinpoint the cause and identify effective treatments.”

A 5-year-old golden retriever named Ike came down with the illness in September. His health was rapidly deteriorating until he was prescribed chloramphenicol — an antibiotic considered to be a “last resort” drug among veterinarians.

Dr. Lindsey Ganzer, a veterinarian, spoke with “Good Morning America” and advised pet owners on how they can protect their dogs.

“[The] most important thing is to avoid any areas where there are a lot of dogs in that space,” Ganzer said.

“So, avoid boarding them. Avoid doggie day cares, going to the groomer, going to dog parks,” she said.

The exact number of dogs that have caught the illness is unknown, according to CBS News.

The outlet explained that most treatment and testing occur in private veterinarian practices.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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