There’s a worrying health issue for dogs in the U.S. right now. Vets and animal shelters are seeing more dogs getting sick with a serious respiratory illness.
It’s a lot like kennel cough at first – dogs cough, lose their appetite, have runny noses, feel tired, and sometimes get a fever.
But unlike kennel cough, which usually gets better in about a week or so, this illness hangs on longer and can get really bad, leading to serious pneumonia.
Dr. Amanda Cavanagh from Colorado State University’s vet hospital told Scripps News Denver, “I would say [there’s been] maybe a 50% increase in the number of coughing dogs we detect.”
This sickness seems to spread where dogs hang out together, like in kennels or dog parks.
What’s really scary is that some dogs get so sick they need help breathing with machines, and sadly, many of these dogs don’t make it.
In Oregon, vets have reported about 200 cases of this mystery illness since around August. Some dogs have even died just a couple of days after getting pneumonia.
Experts are trying to figure out what’s causing this.
They think it might be something called streptococcus zooepidemicus, or “strep zoo.”
The San Diego Humane Society and The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas have seen a bunch of cases and even had to stop taking in new dogs for a while.
Vets are saying to watch your dogs closely. If they keep coughing, lose their appetite, or seem less energetic, it’s time to see the vet.
And for now, it’s probably best to keep them away from places where lots of dogs get together, like dog parks, until we know more about this illness and how to stop it.
So, if you’re a dog owner, keep a close eye on your furry friend and stay updated on this situation. It’s better to be safe and keep our pets healthy.