Heads up, dog owners! If you’ve been meaning to make plans to board your dog or host friends and family with their dogs in your house over the holidays, you may want to reconsider.
If you weren’t already aware, there’s been a respiratory illness spreading around dogs in the United States that’s been tragically making pups very sick. In some cases, it’s been fatal for dogs with existing health conditions.
This mysterious respiratory illness, which is still undergoing research and does not yet have a name, has alarmed veterinarians and dog owners nationwide. As of early December, it’s been detected in 16 states across the country, from California to Vermont.
Researchers believe an unidentified pathogen has caused the illness. The respiratory illness starts with symptoms similar to kennel cough, a common and often very treatable infection amongst dogs. The symptoms include coughing, labored breathing, lethargy, and nasal and eye discharge.
However, unlike kennel cough, this mysterious respiratory illness can lead to much more severe and potentially fatal symptoms, like mild to moderate tracheobronchitis and chronic pneumonia that is resistant to antibiotics.
So far, hundreds of dogs have caught the illness, and some of them have tragically passed away. Yet, many veterinarians have stated that many of the dogs who died of the illness already had underlying health issues.
Nonetheless, this illness is quite scary, especially since many dog owners have mistaken it for a more common, mild illness, only for it to get worse.
Now, dogs across the country are beginning to enter a quarantine-type era, similar to the ones we humans had to enter during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid contracting the illness. This is because, as of right now, veterinarians have confirmed it is most likely airborne and passed on through close contact with other dogs.
So, how can you help your precious pup avoid this illness?