‘This is like nothing we’ve ever seen’: Respiratory illness in dogs causing problems
Dogs are sneezing, coughing and have runny noses from the illness.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s not just humans coughing, sneezing and dealing with runny noses.
The concerns regarding influenza and other upper respiratory illnesses are now impacting dogs across the Charlotte region and is leading to the temporary closures of some doggy daycares.
Long Animal Hospital in Charlotte said this illness has been around for at least a month, but visits for treatment picked up within the last few weeks.
“This is like nothing we’ve ever seen,” Anita Williams, the owner of Dogs All Day, said. “We’ve been in business now for 14 years and once, maybe twice a year or so, something will come through the population. We’ll have a handful of dog owners call us back and say ‘so and so has a cough.’”
The situation is worse than what many have seen in recent years. Long Animal Hospital said the illness was last widespread about five years ago, but it wasn’t a big problem in Charlotte at that time.
“Whatever is going through right now is highly contagious, so it tends to be spreading through anywhere that has a big group of dogs together, kind of like when your child goes to daycare and somebody comes and they have a virus, and then it’s going to spread through everybody that’s there,” Dr. Frances Deller with Long Animal Hospital said. “The same thing happens with dogs and things like that.”
Veterinarians said that although pet owners are calling it kennel cough, it’s actually a ‘K-9 infectious respiratory disease complex,’ which is a combination of viruses that dogs can pick up at the same time.
“She didn’t feel great, kept us up a couple of nights, so it kept me up a couple of nights, my roommates also had to deal with it, just inconvenient to not be able to board her, but just glad she’s doing okay,” Caroline, a dog owner, said.
She said her dog had the illness for nearly three weeks, which backs up what veterinarians are saying. During that time, a dog is still considered contagious.
“We’re seeing some nasal discharge, we’re also seeing some reverse sneezing, which is where it sounds like your dog is sucking in air, it can sound like they’re having a little bit of trouble getting their breath,” Dr. Deller said.
Veterinarians are telling pet owners to get their dogs vaccinated and keep them away from large groups of dogs.
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