Mysterious respiratory illness among dogs draws concern

dog laying on floor, human holding its paw
Dog laying on floor Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Dog owners should be aware of a mysterious respiratory illness that appears to be on the rise in Illinois and the rest of the nation, a local veterinarian says.

“We’re not really sure what the cause of this is at this time.”

Dr. Kelly Cairns with Thrive Pet Healthcare and the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association has taken notice of the illness in recent weeks. She says some dogs display symptoms as minor as a cough or sneeze, while others come down with potentially life-threatening issues.

“All of the known causes of upper respiratory tract infections and pneumonia in dogs that we have tested for, to my knowledge, have been negative,” she said. “So, some of the usual suspect viruses and bacteria that we have tests for have not proven to be fruitful.”

Despite the uncertainty, Dr. Cairns says dog owners need not panic. Instead, they should use this as an opportunity to be proactive, especially before the holidays, the veterinarian said.

“This underscores the importance of making sure that your dog is vaccinated for those things we know that we can prevent.”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images