Blog Mysterious Canine Respiratory Disease: There Is No Reason To Panic!
The week before the busy Thanksgiving Holiday travel season, social media and news outlets were ablaze with the story of a mysterious respiratory infection that could be fatal. Updated information from well respected Veterinarians show there is no reason to panic.
Based on a Dec 1, 2023 article in NPR , “Fears May Be Overblown” . “.. veterinarians who study infectious diseases say this may, in fact, not be an outbreak of a singular illness at all.”
“There’s still scant evidence connecting these cases with any common pathogen, let alone to an altogether new one.” According to Dr Scott Weese, an infectious disease veterinarian at the Ontario Veterinary College, “it seems that certain parts of the country are experiencing an uptick in canine respiratory illness. However, it’s possible the deluge of media coverage and attention on social media has created the appearance of a nationwide outbreak that may not exist in reality.”
“Despite all the attention on individual cases, there’s nothing at this point “that would indicate there’s a national outbreak, anything that would indicate these are all medically connected to each other,” says Dr. Silene St. Bernard, a regional medical director for VCA Animal Hospitals, which runs more than a thousand hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.”
“Generally speaking, the unifying symptom seems to be a persistent cough that doesn’t resolve as would be expected with typical cases of kennel cough. In the worst cases, dogs can come down with severe pneumonia, which sometimes develops rapidly.
Dr Jane Sykes, a professor at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine who focuses on infectious disease said, “What’s actually being said here by veterinarians in these different locations is really that dogs are taking a long time to recover.”
Based on a Dec 11, 2023 article, according American Kennel Club Chief Veterinarian Dr. Jerry Klein “I would advise owners not to panic when their dog coughs, but to contact their veterinarian at the first sign of a cough and see what they recommend and voice their concerns,” Dr. Klein says. “Certainly visit a veterinarian or visit an emergency clinic if a cough is lingering, changes character, and doesn’t seem to go away, or if the dog becomes lethargic or goes off feed.”
Based on a Dec 18, 2023 news story in CBS 12 , according to Palm Beach County veterinarian Dr. Jonathan Block. “He says he wants to drive home the point that if your dog falls sick to this mystery illness, as long as you tackle the illness quickly, your dog can make a full recovery.”
At Very Important Paws, we take all signs of illness seriously and inform our clients immediately of anything of concern, as well as notify you when you pick up your dog. However, due to the incubation period, symptoms may not be evident until your pet returns home. Our recommendation is if you notice a cough, err on the side of caution and consult your veterinarian right away.