Pet owners have been more cautious than usual as a mysterious respiratory illness spreads across 14 states, including California, Colorado, Oregon, Florida and New Hampshire.
While Arizona has only reported two confirmed cases, Dr. Nathan Scholten from Hopi Animal Hospital in Scottsdale anticipates a surge in cases.
The illness, resembling kennel cough but resistant to standard treatments, complicates diagnosis due to uncertainty about its bacterial or viral origin. Dr. Scholten stresses that none of the tested samples match known infectious respiratory pathogens or Covid.
Symptoms endure for up to 6 weeks, posing a risk of pneumonia, especially in dogs with pre-existing conditions.
Concerned owners across the country are actively reevaluating common activities such as dog park visits due to the potential danger that can be heightened with socialization. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends precautions, urging full vaccination for dogs, avoiding kennels and steering clear of dog parks and grooming facilities during the holidays.
Despite anxieties, Dr. Scholten reassures that the mystery illness, though concerning, has a low mortality rate, akin to a summer cold, with most cases recovering without complications.
Dr. Scholten advises pet owners not to panic, advocating a watch-and-wait approach, with veterinary attention necessary if symptoms persist beyond a few days.