Atypical respiratory illness spreading in dogs; no cases confirmed yet in Michigan
A contagious respiratory illness is spreading between dogs in several states, but no cases have been confirmed in Michigan yet.
The symptoms of the illness include sneezing, coughing, lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, and nasal and eye discharge. These symptoms are similar to other respiratory illnesses in dogs; this illness is different because the symptoms seem to persist for much longer than others, according to veterinarians.
Dr. Jennifer Calogero is the assistant state veterinarian. "What we’re seeing is coughing that may persist for weeks to months, and severe forms of the disease can progress to life-threatening pneumonia," Calogero said.
Calogero added that the cause of the illness remains unknown.
"Veterinarians and veterinary diagnostic labs across the country are actively working with reporting veterinarians, disease specialists, and other state and federal agencies to determine the exact cause,” she said.
The Michigan State University Diagnostic Laboratory and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are encouraging dog owners to monitor their pets closely for signs of illness, and to seek veterinary care as soon as possible if symptoms become apparent. Both organizations also recommend that pet dogs are up to date with routine vaccinations as a general precaution against illness.