Unusual Canine Respiratory Illness Reported in Multiple US States

by Sophia Chen
Canine Respiratory Illness

Unusual Canine Respiratory Illness Reported in Multiple US States

State veterinary laboratories are conducting investigations into a distinct respiratory illness affecting dogs across several US states. They are advising pet owners to adopt essential preventative measures while efforts are underway to identify the cause of the ailment afflicting these animals.

Cases of this respiratory condition, which has led to persistent respiratory issues and pneumonia unresponsive to antibiotics, have been reported in Oregon, Colorado, and New Hampshire, among others. Symptoms manifesting in dogs include coughing, sneezing, discharge from the nose or eyes, and a general state of fatigue. The pneumonia associated with this illness can escalate rapidly, severely impacting the health of dogs within a day or two.

More than 200 instances of this disease have been recorded by the Oregon Department of Agriculture since the latter part of August. They are urging dog owners to seek veterinary care if their pets exhibit any symptoms and have asked veterinarians within the state to report new cases promptly. The department is collaborating with local researchers and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine the cause of these sicknesses.

According to Kurt Williams, the head of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University, there have been fatalities among dogs. However, the absence of a definitive diagnostic method or test for this illness makes it challenging to ascertain the exact number of deaths attributable to a severe form of this infection.

Williams advises dog owners not to overreact but to ensure their pets are vaccinated, including vaccines for various respiratory diseases.

Laboratories nationwide are exchanging information to identify the responsible agent.

Dr. David Needle, the lead veterinary pathologist at the University of New Hampshire’s New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, has been examining this enigmatic illness for nearly a year.

His team, along with colleagues from the university’s Hubbard Center for Genome Research, have analyzed samples from affected dogs in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and anticipate further samples from Oregon, Colorado, and possibly other states.

Although Dr. Needle’s team hasn’t observed a significant rise in fatalities due to this disease, they still recommend reducing contact between dogs.

This report is part of the Health and Science coverage by The Big Big News, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The AP maintains full editorial control over all content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Canine Respiratory Illness

What is the Unusual Respiratory Illness Affecting Dogs in the US?

The illness is a distinctive respiratory condition causing persistent respiratory issues and pneumonia in dogs across several US states. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, and lethargy, with some cases progressing rapidly.

Which States Have Reported Cases of This Canine Respiratory Illness?

Oregon, Colorado, and New Hampshire are among the states that have reported cases of this unusual respiratory illness in dogs.

What Are the Symptoms of This Respiratory Illness in Dogs?

Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, and lethargy. In some instances, the associated pneumonia can worsen quickly, severely affecting dogs within 24 to 36 hours.

What Should Dog Owners Do If Their Pet Shows Symptoms?

Dog owners are advised to contact their veterinarian if their pet shows symptoms of the illness. Additionally, keeping pets up to date on vaccines, including those for respiratory diseases, is recommended.

Have There Been Any Fatalities Due to This Illness?

Yes, there have been fatalities among dogs. However, due to the lack of a definitive diagnostic method, the exact number of deaths directly attributable to this illness is unclear.

What Are Researchers Doing to Identify the Cause of the Illness?

State veterinary laboratories, in collaboration with the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, are investigating to identify the cause. Labs across the country are sharing findings, and research is ongoing in several states.

More about Canine Respiratory Illness

  • Understanding Canine Respiratory Diseases
  • State Veterinary Laboratories Research
  • Symptoms and Prevention of Canine Illnesses
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture Updates
  • National Veterinary Services Laboratory Research
  • Pet Vaccination Guidelines

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doglover123 November 18, 2023 - 4:50 pm

does anyone know if this affects cats too?? I have a dog and a cat, and I’m worried about both of them now.

FrankTheVet November 18, 2023 - 9:46 pm

As a vet, I’m seeing more of these cases, really important to keep your pets away from other dogs if they’re showing any symptoms.

Mike Jenson November 18, 2023 - 10:52 pm

wow, this is pretty scary stuff, I’ve got two dogs at home and now i’m worried, need to check their vaccines asap!!

Sarah B. November 19, 2023 - 12:21 am

Isn’t this similar to the dog flu that happened a few years back? Hope they find out what’s causing it soon.

Tina R November 19, 2023 - 1:07 am

This is why I’m always saying, regular check-ups with your vet are so important! Don’t wait till it’s too late.


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