Veterinarians nationwide are expressing concern about a mysterious and potentially fatal illness affecting hundreds of dogs. It is unclear whether the illness has reached New York state.
The primary symptom of this condition is a persistent cough that can last for weeks and does not respond to typical antibiotic treatments. Dogs with the illness can manage their symptoms through treatments such as nebulizers and fluids. However, the illness can rapidly progress, leading to a wet cough, fever, nasal or eye discharge, blue or purple gums, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and sneezing. Within just 24 to 36 hours, dogs can become severely sick and develop pneumonia.
Unfortunately, many dogs have died from this illness due to its rapid advancement. The American Veterinary Medical Association is closely monitoring cases of this puzzling condition. While the current theory suggests it is a new infectious virus, more data is needed to draw definitive conclusions.
Although labeled as a canine infectious respiratory illness, veterinarians are emphasizing that it is not kennel cough. Precautions should be taken to protect dogs from contracting the illness, such as ensuring vaccinations are up to date. It is also advised to refrain from taking dogs to daycare, kennels, groomers, or dog parks until the illness is under control. Pet owners should minimize their dogs' contact with other animals.
If a dog comes into contact with an infected pet, it may contract the potentially deadly illness. In such cases, pet owners should contact their veterinarian immediately.
While there are no confirmed cases in New York yet, neighboring states have reported instances of the illness, suggesting that it may reach the Empire State soon. Currently, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, Florida, New Hampshire, Indiana, Colorado, California, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, and Georgia have reported cases.