USA : The veterinary community in Colorado Springs is urging caution since an unknown respiratory illness has been found to be spreading in dogs, leading to hospitalization and death in some.
Fox Run Veterinary Hospital in Monument sent out an email to customers warning about the “new and sometimes quite severe respiratory illness” that has been presenting in dogs.
“Dogs present to us with cough, fever, and sometimes pneumonia. Many of them are not responding to typical treatment for respiratory illness in dogs and are even progressing to needing hospitalization in the ICU on oxygen and IV antibiotics. We have seen a couple patients where it has become fatal due to hemorrhagic pneumonia — even in younger pets. Pets that are older or have other systemic disease seem to get sicker much faster,” the email said.
Ganzer said dogs develop a cough typically after having been in contact with other dogs at places like dog parks. She said that some have then developed acute pneumonia that does not respond well to common antibiotics. The difficult-to-treat pneumonia has made the illness more concerning to Ganzer than other common contagious illnesses like kennel cough, which usually clears up on its own in seven to 10 days.
Ganzer said that while most of the dogs treated early for the illness are “doing OK,” several with serious symptoms and other contributing conditions have died at the hospital.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on Wednesday canceled its November Dogs Days, which would have allowed visitors to bring their dogs on certain days, citing concerns over the illness. Zoo spokesperson Rachel Wright said in an email that the zoo has been monitoring the situation through veterinarian contacts and employees’ own experiences.
Ganzer echoed the point, saying that dog owners should monitor their pets for cough, shortness of breath or fast breathing, discolored gums and lethargy. She advised bringing a dog with a cough to get checked out “sooner rather than later.”
“It’s definitely scary,” Ganzer said.
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