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May 26, 2024

Mysterious Respiratory Illness Sweeps Across Dog Population in Parts of U.S.

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Dec 21, 2023

A mysterious respiratory illness has been reported among dogs across parts of the U.S. over recent weeks, sparking concern among veterinarians, dog owners, boarding facilities, and animal shelters. While the exact cause remains unknown, reports indicate dozens of states have seen cases.

Illness Manifesting as Cough, Breathing Issues

The illness seems to manifest first as a cough, followed by breathing issues and loss of appetite in severe cases, with some reports of vomiting or diarrhea as well. Most dogs appear to recover, but there are indications of a growing number concerned about exposure during holiday travel and boarding.

The first cases appear connected to dog daycares and boarding facilities, but illness has also occurred in household pets not exposed to such environments.

Vets, CDC Investigating Root Cause

Veterinarians, state agricultural agencies, and the CDC are investigating the root cause behind the outbreaks. Main theories include a novel pathogen or known disease like canine influenza evolving into a new strain.

Researchers are running tests on affected dog tissue and swab samples to identify connections between cases. However, a clear cause has not yet emerged.

Key Details on Spread, Affected Areas

The illness does not seem to spread rapidly between dogs overall, though outbreaks have hit some facilities hard. There’s no evidence it can spread to humans.

At least 36 states have reported probable cases based on tracking from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, depicted in the map below:

Map of states with reported cases

Particular concern and larger outbreaks have centered on Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and parts of the Midwest.

Precautions for Dog Owners

Veterinary experts recommend owners take normal precautions like ensuring vaccinations are up to date, though it’s unclear if vaccines will impact risk. Avoiding interaction with unknown dogs may help reduce exposure.

Owners should monitor their dog’s symptoms and contact a vet if cough, breathing issues, or lethargy develop. As the holidays approach, experts advise careful consideration before boarding dogs at busy facilities with potential illness reports.

Outlook Going Forward

Investigations continue into festive periods where travel and boarding may raise risks. It’s unclear if cases could rise or fall in coming weeks. Veterinary guidance urges calm and careful precautions, not panic. Most dogs recover within a few weeks.

The mysterious background and rapid spread have raised alarm, however. Without a clear cause identified, health officials cannot effectively track, predict, treat, or prevent new outbreaks. Continued public alerts and investigation updates are expected until the illness is better understood.

Information Sources

Key information in this article was compiled from the following sources:

Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional preferences for formatting the story! I aimed to provide an objective overview of the current situation using the most up-to-date information from the provided links.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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