Dog owners have become increasingly concerned about a mysterious and potentially fatal illness across the United States. And there definitely is reason for concern. The illness is known to have spread to at least 12 states. Unfortunately, veterinarians have not been able to identify the disease with any known canine respiratory disease.

States affected as of the date of this article include Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island.

What do we do know about this illness?

sick dog

Symptoms include difficulty breathing or rapid breathing, wheezing, dehydration, fever, nasal or eye discharge, weight loss, loss of appetite and lethargy. If you are concerned your dog may be ill, don’t hesitate, see your veterinarian right away.

According to an article from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the illness is an infectious respiratory disease that began showing up in parts of Oregon a few months ago. In the article it states that the primary clinical syndromes include:

  • Chronic mild to moderate inflammation of the trachea lasting six to eight weeks or longer, which is minimally or not responsive to antimicrobials.
  • Chronic pneumonia that is minimally or not responsive to antimicrobials.
  • Acute pneumonia that rapidly becomes severe and often leads to poor outcomes in as little as 24 to 36 hours.

Recommendations for dog owners:

  • Keep up-to-date with vaccines (canine influenza, Bordetella, parainfluenza).
  • Avoid sick dogs.
  • Keep sick dogs home from daycare or boarding.
  • Avoid communal water bowls.

This is an alarming disease and a very scary time for our pets. We care about our furry friends so much and never want to see them ill. Here at The Dog Nest we are taking every precaution possible to ensure that our families’ pets are healthy and safe.

Let’s stay informed, stay supportive of research efforts, and most importantly, stay attentive to the needs and health of our dogs at this difficult time.