Tacoma — An unknown respiratory disease is affecting hundreds of dogs in several states across the country, but very little is known about the disease.
Oregon, Colorado and New Hampshire are among the states that have reported cases of the illness that caused respiratory disease and pneumonia, according to the Associated Press. Over 200 cases have been reported in Oregon since mid-August.
Jeanne Neeson, a veterinarian and chief of staff at the Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Tacoma, said that there are still a lot of unknowns as to what is causing this disease which is scaring veterinarian professionals and pet parents alike.
According to the University of New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, their preliminary findings of the tests on the samples of the respiratory disease, which they began investigating during the summer of 2022, is a “non-culturable, bacterial-like organism.”
Washington has not had any confirmed cases as of Nov. 27.
Respiratory disease outbreaks are not uncommon during this time of the year, especially since pets are boarded into doggy day care while their owners are away on vacations for the holidays.
Below are symptoms to look out for as well as safety precautions that dog parents should take to keep their dogs safe, according to a veterinarian.
Red flags, symptoms
The unknown respiratory disease and kennel cough have similar symptoms, but there are key symptoms that pet parents should look out for that are cause for concern.
“Dogs who have kennel cough are fairly energetic, maybe they’re like 10 percent off, but they still raring to go, they just cough more but the dogs that we would really be worried about would be the low energy lethargic, not eating well,” Neeson said in an interview.
Neeson asks that pet parents refrain from panicking about the disease, and instead urges them to monitor their pups behavior, breathing and eating habits.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Low energy
- No appetite
- Nasal discharge
- Trouble breathing, short rapid breathing
If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, Neeson highly recommends taking them to the vet as soon as possible.
These are few of the safety precautions that Neeson suggests pet parents should take to help lessen the chance of their dog getting sick:
- Make sure your dog is up-to-date with vaccinations, including the vaccination against Influenza.
- Avoid off-leash areas (dog parks, any place other dogs may frequent).
- Avoid boarding your pets in day care if possible.
- Avoid any interactions with unknown dogs, no nose-to-nose contact.
If your dog is experiencing any kind of cough, keep them at home an away from other dogs.