"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Mysterious illnesses in dogs may spread throughout the holidays, vets warn

November 21, 2023 – A mysterious respiratory illness that has sickened tons of of dogs and is difficult to treat has caught the eye of veterinarians across the country, who fear cases could rise as people travel with their dogs or accommodate them on vacation.

The illness, characterised by an inflamed windpipe, is unusual because it could actually last 6 to eight weeks or longer and result in chronic pneumonia that doesn’t reply to antibiotics, a physician said Summary published by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The same illness often called kennel cough often only lasts 7 to 10 days.

Some dogs suffer from “acute pneumonia that quickly becomes severe, often leading to poor outcomes in as little as 24 to 36 hours,” the AVMA reported.

The disease has been circulating in Oregon for several months and has also been detected in dogs in Colorado, Massachusetts and Rhode Island The New York Times.

Colorado veterinarian Lindsey Ganzer, DVM, told the Just that 4 of the 35 dogs she has treated for the disease because the end of October have died. Ganzer said all the dogs she treated frolicked in places with a lot of other dogs, comparable to dog parks or doggy daycares.

Dog owners should ensure vaccinations are up so far and monitor their dogs closely for coughs, which can result in nasal or eye discharge and sneezing. Additionally, owners should think twice before joining large gatherings of dogs, in accordance with a Press release from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University.

“We really hope that people will be less inclined to do something like this,” Ganzer said. “The veterinary community as a whole is kind of scared.”

The explanation for the mysterious respiratory illness is unknown.

“Canine infectious respiratory disease (kennel cough or canine infectious respiratory disease complex) is common and has multiple viral and bacterial causes,” said Michael Lappin, DVM, PhD, an internal medicine veterinarian and professor at CSU, in a press release Explanation. “However, cases have been diagnosed more frequently in recent months and the course of the disease is different than usual, surprising both pet owners and veterinarians. It is currently unknown whether these unusual cases are caused by a virus or a bacteria, or a combination of both types of infection.”