Potentially fatal disease in dogs spreads in the United States
The illness begins with a cough that can last for several weeks but does not respond to usual treatments, such as antibiotics, TODAY reported. The disease can progress to severe pneumonia. Cases have been reported in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.
Some dogs have died from the disease, veterinarians told TODAY. Most dogs with the disease were in close contact with many other dogs, such as in daycares, dog parks or dog boarding facilities.
The cause of the illness has not been determined.
- Cough that does not improve on its own after a week
- Runny nose or eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Blue or purple gums (due to lack of oxygen)
What dog owners should do
From the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association:
- See a doctor for a dog with symptoms
- Make sure all dogs are up to date with all their vaccinations, including dog flu, Bordetella and parainfluenza.
- For event organizers: dogs must undergo a health check 12-24 hours before the event. Have a DVM check the dogs on site for health problems (mild runny nose, cough, high temperature, lack of food).
- Consult your veterinarian for advice specific to your dog before attending an event where dogs are gathered.