In the United States, there is currently an unnamed and sometimes fatal illness spreading quickly among dogs with no apparent cure. This mysterious illness starts with symptoms resembling kennel cough that, if not treated, can quickly progress into pneumonia. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about this illness including a look at the symptoms, preventative measures, options for sick dogs, and a statement from our Chief Veterinary Office, Dr. Lindsey Wendt.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of this mystery illness include:
- Nasal and/or eye discharge
- Loss of or decreased appetite
- Shortness of breath
Unfortunately, this illness seems resistant to most antibiotics meaning that there is no direct way to kill the virus once it has infected a dog. If you notice your dog exhibiting any of the above symptoms, contact your vet immediately. Despite the mysterious nature of this illness, it has been known to progress rapidly and, in some cases, even cause dogs to pass away.
What preventative measures can I take?
With the holidays fast approaching, you may have plans to board your pup before you leave for the long weekend, or take them to the groomer for a trim, but it’s important to limit all contact with outside dogs as this illness is highly contagious and spreads through nose-to-nose contact.
In lieu of boarding your pup, you should consider hiring a dog sitter or leaving them with a trusted family member or friend while you’re away. And while it might be tempting to have your pup groomed to look their holiday-best, we recommend bathing them at home or looking into mobile grooming options.
We also consulted our Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Lindsey Wendt, about some other preventative measures you can take immediately. Here’s what she has to say:
“I highly recommend some natural supplements that can really help enhance their immune system. Things like high-quality mushroom supplements, colostrum, and antioxidants can work wonders.” Dr. Wendt also recommends elevating your dog’s current supplement intake with products like Super Snouts Super Shrooms or Super Snouts Chews Daily Digestive + Immune Health chews.
It’s important to introduce products that are meant to support your dog’s immune system early and before they’re potentially exposed to the mystery illness, especially if they’re older or immunocompromised in any way.
What should I do if my dog is sick?
This mystery illness is fast progressing and extremely contagious, making it imperative to contact your vet when you first notice your dog exhibiting any of the above symptoms. Be sure to monitor your dog while they’re sick and isolate them from other dogs for a two week time period while they recover. While there is no medicine that can outright cure the illness, supplemental care can be given to your dog to help them feel better.
If you notice your pet relapsing at any point, make sure you let your vet know and continue to quarantine them.
Are humans and other pets at risk?
As of right now, humans and other animals such as cats and small rodents don’t seem affected by this mysterious illness.