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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Respiratory Illness in Dogs Sweeps the Nation

Dog labrador at vet. Respiratory Illness in Dogs Sweeps the Nation.


A respiratory illness with an unknown cause is affecting dogs across the United States. While respiratory infections are not uncommon, veterinarians are reporting very sick dogs with chronic coughs or pneumonia that last an unusually long time and do not respond to antibiotics. Common respiratory diagnostic testing for kennel cough has yielded mostly negative results. These cases have caused concern because they are at the severe end of the spectrum. While some deaths have been reported, they represent a small percentage of total cases. Efforts are underway to conduct widespread sampling of cases to diagnose the cause and implement a testing plan.

Dog parents are advised to contact a veterinarian if their pets exhibit symptoms such as coughing, fever, sneezing, nasal and/or eye discharge, intermittent loss of appetite and lethargy. When attending events or situations with a group of other dogs, owners are advised to ensure that theirs are properly vaccinated, have received all needed health checks and have a veterinarian available to address any health issues.