Veterinarians in multiple states across the U.S. are reporting cases of a potentially deadly illness in dogs. The illness begins as a persistent cough that does not improve with typical treatments like antibiotics and can progress to severe pneumonia. Dogs in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington have been affected by the illness.
Some dogs have died from the illness, with most cases involving dogs in close contact with others at daycares, dog parks, or boarding kennels. The cause of the illness has not been identified, leaving veterinarians and dog owners concerned about the spread and treatment of the illness.
Symptoms of the illness include persistent coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, lethargy, trouble breathing, and discoloration of the gums. Owners are urged to seek medical attention for dogs displaying these symptoms and ensure all their pets are up-to-date on vaccinations, including canine influenza, Bordetella, and parainfluenza.
Event organizers are advised to have dogs undergo a health check 12-24 hours before gatherings and consult with a veterinarian for specific advice. With the cause of the illness still unknown, dog owners and event organizers are urged to take extra precautions and stay informed about the spread of the illness.