A mysterious respiratory disease has sickened dogs and killed other dogs in several US states, as veterinarians urge dog owners to exercise caution and limit contact with other dogs.
According to TodayA pneumonia-like illness that starts with a cough and gradually worsens, and the disease becomes resistant to antibiotics.
Coughing, sneezing, discharge from the eyes or nose, difficulty breathing and fatigue are also seen. Oregon Department of Agriculture. Dogs exhibiting symptoms may test negative for common causes of respiratory diseases.
Officials said dogs can get sick through contact with other dogs, with places like dog parks, kennels and groomers posing a greater risk.
Dog owners who notice any of the above symptoms are advised to take their dog to the vet immediately.
Reports today indicate that veterinarians in the following states have observed cases matching the description of zoo strep:
- New Hampshire
While veterinarians encourage dog owners to keep their furry friends away from places where other dogs may be, they emphasize that dogs in need of veterinary care are seen as soon as they show symptoms.
Veterinarians advise owners to ensure their dogs are up-to-date with required vaccinations.
Although dog owners are advised to be careful, experts make it clear that owners should be cautious rather than worried, offering the following tips to protect dogs from respiratory diseases:
- Minimize contact with large numbers of unknown dogs. As with other respiratory pathogens, the more contacts your dog has, the greater your risk of encountering an infected dog.
- Minimize contact with sick dogs. This can be difficult to determine, but if a dog is sick (coughing, runny nose, watery eyes), keep your dog away from it.
- Keep sick dogs at home and take them to the vet.
- Avoid public water bowls shared by multiple dogs.
- Ask your vet for advice on which vaccinations to give your dog. Common vaccines include canine influenza, Bordetella and parainfluenza.
- If it is sick, if possible, get your dog tested with a PCR test to help identify the causative agent (viral/bacterial).
Officials with the Oregon Department of Agriculture said the cases they observed fell into one of three categories:
- Long-term (6-8 weeks or more) chronic mild-moderate tracheobronchitis with minimal or no response to antibiotics.
- Chronic pneumonia with minimal or no response to antibiotics.
- Acute pneumonia can progress rapidly and lead to serious consequences within 24-36 hours.
Dog owners are advised to contact their veterinarian before exposing their dogs to a multi-dog environment.