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Dog Owners Warned of Mysterious Dog Illness Amid Holidays

The much-awaited holiday season is here, which means many dog owners in America will likely travel with their furry friends or have them tag along to indulge in some Christmas and New Year’s fun.

Given this possibility, veterinarians have issued a warning to dog owners about keeping their pets indoors during the holidays for the sake of their health. CBS News reports that a mysterious respiratory illness affecting dogs has been circulating across different states for months now. Veterinarians fear many dogs may end up catching the illness outdoors this holiday season since it predominantly spreads through the air, similar to how people contract Coronavirus. 

Put simply, dogs that come into close contact with infected dogs and breathe in the same air risk contracting the respiratory illness that has, sadly, already claimed the lives of several dogs. 

Colorado is among the many states experiencing a rise in the number of dogs suffering from the mysterious illness. 

“You shouldn’t overly worry, but you should be worried,” Dr. Arun Rustgi, a veterinarian in the state, said.

Keeping your dog safe from mysterious illness this holiday season 

Common symptoms of this strange respiratory illness include coughing, sneezing, and weeping eyes. It can even lead to pneumonia.

According to Rustgi, some infected dogs recover after a week or two of treatment. However, in other dogs, “it is lingering and causing really prolonged coughs.”  

Dr. Rustgi also shared, “The dogs that get it, when it hits them, it hits them hard.”

As of now, the treatment options available aren’t as effective as experts wish they’d be. For this reason, veterinarians are working with what they have to treat infected dogs. Dr Rustgi confirmed this in a statement: “Just because we don’t have a good treatment for it, we are advising [you] to avoid any contact with dogs you don’t know.”

The Colorado-based vet also shared a few practical tips for dog owners to prevent the possibility of their pets contracting the unidentified illness:

  • Avoid letting your dog greet other dogs during walks.
  • Clean any toys that your dog shares with other canines.
  • Wash your hands after touching other dogs besides your own.

Furthermore, Rustgi advised dog owners planning on leaving their dogs in kennel facilities when they travel for the holidays to rethink their choices.

“If you can find a friend or a neighbor that is willing to come over and check on your dog a couple of times a day, that would be the safest outlet.”

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