Deadly dog virus in NJ: How to keep your dog safe
🐶 Mystery illness affecting dogs now in 15 states
🐶 It is likely in New Jersey right now
🐶 How to keep your dog safe in the Garden State
With 15 states now confirming the presence of a mysterious canine respiratory illness, including Pennsylvania, it is possible - or even likely - it is already in New Jersey.
The disease has been making dogs sick from the West Coast to the Midwest, but has now arrived on the East Coast.
Its presence in Maryland and Pennsylvania make it likely it has crossed into New Jersey.
Veterinarians say it presents like kennel cough, with dogs wheezing and dry coughing, but it is a different illness.
Other symptoms include mild-to-moderate tracheobronchitis, nasal or eye discharge and rapid and/or difficult breathing. In some cases, it develops into both acute and chronic pneumonia.
The American Veterinary Medical Association says effective treatments have not yet been identified, and this particular illness is not responding to standard treatments.
In some cases, dogs have died from it.
How to keep your dog safe in New Jersey
It appears the disease is spread when dogs are in close proximity and breathing the same air.
That is why the American Veterinary Medical Association is recommending that pet owners avoid social situations with other dogs.
The AVMA says that includes settings like dog parks, doggie daycare and kennels.
They also recommend the following:
🐶 Keep your dogs vaccines up-to-date, including parainfluenza, Bordetella and canine influenza
🐶 Watch your dog closely for progressive coughing that may be accompanied by eye or nasal discharge
What to do if your dog shows symptoms
If you dog shows any of the symptoms of this mystery illness, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Although no highly effective treatments have been developed to combat this illness, your vet can provide symptom relief and care that may prevent the illness from getting worse.
Should I avoid boarding my dog this holiday season?
The American Veterinary Medical Association's Dr. Lisa Lippman says ideally you should avoid boarding your dogs this holiday season due to the spread of this mystery illness.
Lippman says "any area with a lot of dogs in one space could be high risk for disease transmission.
Can I catch this from my dog?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also been monitoring this illness for possible canine to human transmission.
To date, the CDC says there is no evidence to suggest humans are at risk.
In some cases, strains of influenza can be transmitted to dogs from humans, but there is no known transmission of this disease from dogs to humans.
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