Have You Heard of the Deadly Respiratory Illness?
In recent weeks, a mysterious canine respiratory illness has worried dog guardians across the United States. The symptoms include coughing, fever, and lethargy, with severe cases leading to hospitalization or, sadly, even death.
As the situation unfolds, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that we practice caution. It almost feels like re-living the COVID scare. But this time, it’s our dogs that we’re worried about.
I’ll share everything I know about the mystery illness affecting our beloved dogs. We will also explore the recommended strategies to keep them safe.
Understanding the Threat
The mystery illness killing dogs has left dog owners worried and seeking answers. The good news is that the AVMA is closely monitoring the situation.
Until we know more, it’s important for pet parents to understand the possible risks of this virus.
Some infected dogs may show symptoms early on. But others might carry the virus without visible signs.
Look out for signs of this mystery illness, such as coughing. This may be a wet cough linked to respiratory distress. In some cases, dogs develop severe pneumonia.
Please also be mindful if your dog suddenly loses her appetite. Any time a dog doesn’t want to eat, I become concerned that something is wrong.
More Than Your Typical Kennel Cough?
If you have a dog, you’ve probably heard of kennel cough by now. You might be wondering how this illness is different than your typical kennel cough.
Well, kennel cough is an umbrella term for a variety of infectious respiratory illnesses. What’s interesting here, though, is that the infected dogs have mostly tested negative for the bacteria associated with kennel cough.
Although veterinarians are unsure what this illness is, they have concluded it’s contagious. So, the dogs at risk are mainly those who spend a lot of time with other dogs.
Doggy Day Care and Boarding Facilities
Think about how sickness can travel from one person to another. Just like us, our dogs can get sick through contact with an infected dog. And dogs don’t know to be cautious around dogs that may be sick! So, we must be vigilant for them.
Many pet guardians rely on facilities like doggy day cares or boarding facilities. If this is you, please exercise caution.
Be mindful of selecting a facility with strict adherence to vaccine requirements, screening policies, and knowledge of the group size. Smaller, consistent dog groups are the safest. It is also best if the facility is careful that dogs do not share toys and water bowls.
Dog Parks and Outdoor Interactions
I recommend that dogs still get regular exercise. Taking your dog out for a walk will just be less social for now.
When walking your dog, avoid interactions with other dogs. It’s best to keep your pup away from dogs with unknown health statuses. Steer clear of any coughing dogs.
Has your dog felt sick recently? If so, please keep him away from other dogs.
Remember the days of the quarantine lockdown? Once again, we are all responsible for stopping the spread of this mysterious illness.
Consider arranging playdates with dogs you know well. While this is better than going to the dog park, please be mindful that there is still a risk.
If your dog starts to show any symptoms, please book a visit with your veterinarian. It is best to catch this mystery illness as quickly as possible. Remember, some dogs are developing pneumonia, so you want to get treatment early.
Coughing or nasal/eye discharge may require monitoring at home, but lethargy or difficulty breathing demands immediate attention.
It is also important that veterinarians keep accurate records of this unknown illness and how it is affecting dogs. The more vets know, the more dogs will stay safe!
Navigating this mystery canine respiratory illness will take careful guidance, responsible pet ownership, and open communication with veterinarians.
By staying informed and cautious, we can work together to stop the spread of this mysterious illness.
Hopefully we will know more soon. The AVMA and veterinary professionals continue to monitor the situation.
Remember, your dog’s health is the top priority. Keep providing her with regular exercise during this time. Just be sure to stay away from any dogs you don’t know.
Stay informed, stay cautious, and keep those tails wagging!
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