Mysterious respiratory illness in dogs sparks concern among Pensacola veterinarians
by Aubrey Spears
PENSACOLA, Fla. — A mysterious respiratory illness has dog owners and veterinarians concerned.
The infectious disease begins with a cough, which often progresses to pneumonia and, in some cases, becomes fatal.
Cases of a mysterious dog illness have been reported in several states in the United States.
WEAR News spoke with a local veterinarian about how dog owners can identify this mystery illness and be proactive in keeping their dogs healthy.
“I wouldn’t want to be alarmist. Again, we haven’t seen this much in North Florida, but if you are concerned about your dog, I would limit their exposure to other dogs that are not part of immediate family,” said Dr. Walter Gandy, owner of Coastal Sunrise Animal Hospital.
Cases of infectious respiratory disease have been reported in several states while the cause remains unknown.
Dr. Gandy says he hasn’t treated any cases of this mysterious illness, but he believes cases of respiratory illnesses in dogs have increased in recent years.
“Well, it’s a mystery. However, we suspect it stems from the canine infectious respiratory disease complex, a group of bacteria and/or viruses that cause respiratory illnesses in dogs,” Dr. Gandy said.
A productive cough, runny nose, loss of appetite, and lethargy are all signs that your dog might be sick.
Dr. Gandy says upper respiratory illnesses like this are spread through droplets and mists when dogs cough.
Normally, such illnesses are treated with a course of antibiotics and possibly steroids.
“If your dogs don’t go out to public places, parks or daycares, they are at very low risk of getting a disease like this,” Dr. Gandy said.
Veterinarians in several states are sounding the alarm because the disease can be potentially fatal.
WEAR News spoke with an Escambia County dog owner who said her dog is currently being treated for the mystery illness.
Dr. Gandy says that in general, North Florida has not seen as many cases as other areas of the United States. However, he recommends that owners be attentive to their dogs’ symptoms.
“Well, all sick animals are a concern for veterinarians. That being said, if you feel like your dog is sick, you should take him to a veterinarian. You shouldn’t wait to see if he gets better after a while. a week,” said the Dr. » Gandy said.
If you notice that your pet is sick, it is important to schedule an exam with a veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent the illness from progressing.
There is no evidence that this mysterious disease can be transmitted from dogs to humans.
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