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Maryland Scientist Investigates Mysterious Canine Illness

Maryland Scientist Investigates Mysterious Canine Illness

In Maryland, a team of researchers is on a mission to uncover the secrets behind a puzzling and sometimes deadly disease affecting dogs nationwide. The illness, known as atypical canine respiratory infectious disease (aCRID), has left veterinarians scratching their heads as they search for a cure.

Leading the charge is Mostafa Ghanem, an Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Maryland. Collaborating with the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, Ghanem is analyzing samples from affected dogs to pinpoint the root cause of the disease.

According to Ghanem, aCRID presents itself with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing, nasal and/or eye discharge, loss of appetite, and lethargy. If your furry friend shows any of these signs, don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet immediately.

When asked about the origins of the disease, Ghanem explained that it remains a mystery.

“It could be a virus, bacteria, fungus, or even a combination of these factors,”

he shared.

As for how aCRID spreads, Ghanem noted that it is not linked to common canine respiratory pathogens like kennel cough. The transmission is suspected to occur through respiratory droplets and aerosols from infected dogs, or by direct contact with contaminated objects.

The disease poses a significant threat, as it does not respond well to antibiotics. In severe cases, aCRID can progress rapidly to acute pneumonia, leading to death in as little as one to three days.

Extra precautions should be taken with young puppies, senior dogs, and those with weakened immune systems.

While there is no evidence of aCRID affecting humans at this time, Ghanem advised pet owners to practice good hygiene by washing hands thoroughly after handling dogs and limiting contact with sick animals.

To protect your furry companions, Ghanem recommended minimizing contact with other dogs outside the household, especially in places like dog parks and daycares. Keeping up-to-date with vaccinations and promptly isolating any sick pets are also crucial steps in preventing the spread of the disease.

Dr. Marianne Bailey of Western Shore Veterinary Hospital in Annapolis echoed the importance of staying vigilant for symptoms such as a chronic cough, lingering pneumonia, or sudden severe illness in pets.

By staying informed and proactive, pet owners can play a key role in combating this mysterious canine illness.

Emma, who has a journalism education, enthusiastically writes articles for our dog blog. She combines her love for writing with her deep fondness for dogs to create engaging and informative content. Emma's work reflects her commitment to sharing heartwarming stories and valuable insights about our beloved canine companions.