Ditching the dog park might save your pup from new mystery illness

dog with thermometer in mouth
Photo credit Getty Images

An unidentified respiratory illness is sickening dogs across the U.S.

Dr. Kelly Diehl from the Morris Animal Foundation told KNX News that veterinarians still aren’t sure what they’re dealing with, or whether it’s a virus or bacteria.

“It could be that it’s multiple infectious agents,” she said.

Diehl said some veterinarians think the illness could be an unusually bad outbreak of canine infectious respiratory disease complex, commonly known as “kennel cough,” which is caused by several viruses and bacteria. But it could also be an entirely new unidentified infection.

There are currently no reported cases of the illness in California, but it has been found in Oregon.

Whatever this mystery illness is, Diehl said you can protect your pups by keeping them away from other dogs. Steer clear of doggy daycare if you can.

“Even in a park or a dog park where you’re outside, you might want to be careful about that sort of close nose-to-nose contact,” she said.

If your dog is coughing or not eating well, call your vet. Puppies, older dogs, and dogs with underlying conditions or weakened immune systems are at the highest risk of illness, Diehl said.

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