An unknown respiratory illness is infecting dogs in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Some cases have developed into fatal, acute pneumonia, killing some dogs within two days. But experts are urging pet owners not to panic.
“I come to the dog park every day with my two dogs, so if it’s here I’d like to know about it,” dog owner Josh Badden said.
Not much is known about the disease other than symptoms are similar to that of kennel cough and canine influenza. The disease is also resilient to antibiotics.
While this may sound alarming, Chief Veterinary Officer for the Humane Society of Central Oregon Crystal Bloodworth says dog owners should not panic.
“There’s always a degree of concern. It’s why we vaccinate our pets, and there’s actually multiple vaccines, both injectable, into the nose that can be given to dogs to boost their immunity if they are exposed to one of these diseases,” Bloodworth said.
Bloodworth says that while they have recently seen respiratory illnesses in their kennels, nothing has appeared to be out of the norm.
“The symptoms have been coughing with a couple of dogs with nasal discharge. We haven’t had any more significant symptoms, no pneumonia, certainly no deaths,” Bloodworth said.
The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association says owners can protect their dogs from respiratory illnesses by ensuring they are up to date on their vaccines, reducing contact with unknown dogs and avoiding communal water bowls.