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Mystery Respiratory Illness Spreading Among Dogs

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A mystery respiratory illness is sickening dogs statewide, with rare cases turning deadly. As the holidays approach, and some individuals are looking to kennel their dogs, veterinarians are warning pet owners to be hyper vigilant. Current cases are showing dogs being taken into the vet with chronic cough or pneumonia that isn’t responding to antibiotics. Over 200 cases were reported in Oregon with symptoms ranging from coughing, eye and nose discharge to sneezing and lethargy. 

“Based on the epidemiology of the cases reported at this point, the cases appear to share a viral etiology, but common respiratory diagnostic testing has been largely negative,” Oregon State Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz told the American Veterinary Medical Association. In other words, while it looks like a common upper respiratory disease, all tests come up negative. Like most major infections, it seems certain bacteria have mutated and become viral.

As veterinarians work to figure out the root cause of this mystery illness, they are urging pet owners not to worry, but rather be cautious. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccines, avoid contact with unknown dogs and avoid communal water and food stations.

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