A Respiratory Illness Is Affecting Dogs Across the Country

State and federal agencies are monitoring the issue

A concerned canine
Alarming news for dogs and their owners.
Getty Images

Are dogs in danger from a strange new illness that appears to be affecting canines in several states? That’s the question posed by a recent Associated Press report on the efforts of scientists and veterinarians to better understand a respiratory ailment that’s stricken numerous dogs in the past year. What’s potentially most alarming about this condition is that it doesn’t seem to be centralized: the AP’s Devi Shastri notes that cases have been seen in New Hampshire, Oregon and Colorado.

Shastri writes that the symptoms of the condition include “coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge and lethargy” — and that over 200 dogs in Oregon alone have been affected. More alarmingly, whatever the cause of this illness is, it doesn’t seem to be responding to antibiotics.

Still, one expert who’s been monitoring the situation urges dog owners to remain calm. “Don’t panic,” said Kurt Williams of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Instead, Williams urged dog owners to make sure that their pets have been vaccinated recently. David Needle of the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory advised dog owners to limit their contact with other canines to reduce the risk of the condition spreading.

Experts are looking into the matter. The Associated Press reports that the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory are working together to get to the bottom of the issue — and hopefully figure out a useful way of managing whatever this infection might be before too long.

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