Veterinarians are working to discover the cause behind a cluster of respiratory illnesses in dogs across the United States. More than 200 suspected cases have been identified. documented since late summer, primarily in Oregon. The disease appears to have a low case fatality rate, but dogs have experienced prolonged symptoms and have not responded well to antibiotics.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) appears to be the first major group to learn about the mysterious canine ailment. According to him American Veterinary Medical Association, the department has received more than 200 reports of an unexplained respiratory illness from local veterinarians since mid-August. Veterinarians and testing laboratories in Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and New Hampshire have reported similar cases, possibly dating back to last year.
These illnesses do not appear to be caused by any of the common respiratory germs tested by veterinarians. Some dogs have tested positive for bacteria mycoplasma cynoswhich can sometimes cause kennel cough, but the ODA has ruled it out as the main culprit behind these cases.
Sick dogs tend to fall into one of three categories: dogs that experience chronic inflammation of the trachea and bronchi (six to eight weeks or longer) that does not respond to antibiotics; dogs experiencing chronic pneumonia (lung inflammation) that does not respond to antibiotics and dogs with pneumonia that worsens rapidly in as little as one day. Given the lack of success with antibiotics, the most likely suspect for the disease is a species of virus, the ODA has said.
Several dogs have been hospitalized or died as a result of the disease, but it does not appear to have caused a large increase in canine deaths. Veterinarians recommend that dog owners remain alert but not panic. We recommend caution rather than concern, the ODA saying in its latest update on the situation.
Owners should make sure their puppies are up to date on all their vaccinations, some of which help prevent respiratory illnesses, for example. They should also try to minimize the time their dogs spend in large gatherings of other unfamiliar dogs and avoid using communal water bowls. . Dogs that develop symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose and/or eyes, and lethargy should be kept home and receive veterinary care. if possible.
The ODA is working with emergency veterinary centers in the area and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory to better track and ultimately identify the cause of this mysterious cluster.
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