Experts Recommend Isolating Dogs Amidst Unidentified Respiratory Illness


A mysterious and potentially fatal respiratory illness affecting dogs has emerged in several states, including Oregon, Indiana, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, and the Northeast. Veterinarians are urgently working to identify the cause of the illness, characterized by a persistent cough resistant to traditional antibiotics, leading to severe pneumonia.

dogs amid respiratory mystery illness

The initial symptom is an enduring cough that persists for weeks, followed by the rapid development of pneumonia. Dogs affected by the illness may exhibit symptoms such as lethargy, fever, productive coughing, sneezing, eye or nose discharge, fatigue, blue or purple gums from oxygen deprivation, trouble breathing, and negative tests for other common respiratory illnesses.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has received over 200 reports of the unidentified condition since mid-August. Veterinarians are sending samples from affected dogs to a research lab in New Hampshire that has been studying the illness since 2022.

Dogs are most likely to contract the illness in environments with close contact among numerous dogs, such as daycare, groomers, boarding kennels, and dog parks. Despite the fall season typically seeing a decrease in contagious coughing conditions, the spike in cases has remained high this year.

dogs amid respiratory

Researchers are actively investigating the illness to pinpoint potential causes. The American Veterinary Medical Association is monitoring cases in various states, although the nationwide impact remains unclear. Experts recommend isolating dogs in settings where they may come into close contact with others to prevent the spread of the unidentified respiratory illness.