OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
4:30 PM – Monday, November 20, 2023
A mysterious, unknown illness has reportedly caused hundreds of dogs throughout the United States to become ill and even die, prompting worry among dog owners.
Veterinarians discovered a mysterious and “potentially fatal” illness that has been causing sickness among hundreds of dogs in several states nationwide.
Veterinarians documented that there have been at least 200 written reports of the illness to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Experts stated that the symptoms are extremely similar to the kennel cough. However, this illness is regarded as being “highly contagious” and “potentially fatal.”
Some veterinarians also mentioned that the illness is pneumonia-like in nature.
Authorities with the Oregon Department of Agriculture released a statement explaining that dogs with the illness typically display coughing, sneezing, discharge from the nose and eyes, along with being lethargic.
“Unfortunately, right now, nobody knows what it is,” said Cranberry veterinarian Dr. Mike Hutchinson. “When that happens, you should see your veterinarian because we’re going to treat those symptoms. And for viruses, there’s really no good anti-viral on the market, however, we can support the symptoms sometimes by nebulizing them or giving them some support, fluids, things that they need.”
According to reports, the illness cases among dogs in the U.S. have been found in states like Oregon, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, and California.
On Tuesday, Dr. Kurt Williams, the director of Oregon Veterinary Diagnostics Lab, publicized that individuals who own dogs should avoid boarding their dogs, bringing them to doggy daycares, dog parks, and anywhere else that canines typically gather until the mysterious illness is identified.
“I think it would not be a bad idea to avoid possible situations where your dog is mingling with other dogs, and make sure your dog is fully vaccinated,” Williams suggested.
Williams also said that dog owners should stay “patient and calm” until health officials identify and contain the illness.
“We need to be logical and patient as colleagues across the country continue to work on this disease,” he said.
According to the San Diego Humane Society, until December 1st, its organization is stopping dog owner surrenders, with the exception of situations where a respiratory illness poses a serious risk to the pet’s health.
“Any shelter that cares for the large number of animals we care for is used to managing infectious disease. But this is the first time we have had this highly virulent pathogen,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman with the San Diego Humane Society.
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