The search for what is making America’s dogs sick is ongoing

Mystery of Dog Illness: What Oregon’s Vets Are Saying About “Microscopic” Dogs and Other Pets?

He was diagnosed with pneumonia after being brought in to work by Dozier. “He went a total of nine weeks on three different types of antibiotics and a round of about three to four weeks of steroids.”

And if your pet does get sick, get them seen immediately. When a young golden retriever started coughing, the vet tech in Virginia Beach initially wasn’t too worried. That changed as his condition deteriorated, though.

“If veterinarians tell us that we’re seeing more cases and they’re acting differently than we’re used to, then we need to pay attention,” Williams says.

Some people may want to steer clear of “high traffic” public places like dog parks and if possible, boarding facilities, groomers and other crowded settings, says Dr. Ashley Nichols, president of the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association.

In Oregon, Williams is skeptical that would explain what he’s seeing in his state, saying it’s possible something distinct is happening in the Pacific Northwest.

Source: Veterinarians say fears about ‘mystery’ dog illness may be overblown. Here’s why

Mycoplasma, a common infectious disease of dogs, has been reported in Oregon by veterinarians and the U.S. Department of Agriculture

In fact, he’s in the early stages of examining the lungs of dogs who died from the atypical respiratory illness that has sickened more than 200 dogs in Oregon. So far, he’s finding acute injury in the small air sacs, called alveoli, and bleeding from that into the lungs.

He said, “I don’t want to go out over my skis here, but it makes me think maybe there’s something out there.”

If a lot of sick dogs are found in the area, it’s reasonable to be more restrictive. If you own a dog that is at high risk for disease, be more restrictive.

While intriguing, Weese points out that Mycoplasma can commonly be found in dogs with and without respiratory disease. He thinks it’s too soon to assume that this is the cause of any of the outbreaks.

Things have been worst in Oregon. Dogs are getting respiratory infections from the Department of Agriculture. Over 200 dogs with a similar illness have been reported in the state, and similar cases have been reported in multiple other states. The disease presents similarly to a bacterial condition known as kennel cough, though symptoms tend to be more severe, last many times longer, and aren’t responsive to the common antibiotics used to treat this known illness. In some cases, the disease has been fatal.

David Needle, senior veterinary pathologist at the University of New Hampshire, has a lead on what the culprit might be; he thinks it may have been stalking canines for some time. In 2022, Needle’s team began looking at nasal and oral swabs taken from sick dogs in New England, in cases where no known cause of disease was found and the dogs weren’t responsive to treatment. They found a small DNA sequence of a potential disease-causing microbe in 21 of the initial 30 animal samples screened.

He gets an email a few times a week, but it has been five years since he’s gotten that email.

According to Williams, this can be misleading since it suggests that a clearly defined disease is spreading. “We have a very poor understanding of the cases clinically,” he says.

The Oregon dog fever epidemic: Why are so many dogs coming off the kennel without identifying their pathogen? A veterinarian’s perspective

In the most recent outbreak, some dogs from Oregon are being tested to find the same fragment because they have tested negative in other states for respiratory diseases. It’s present in some of the dogs currently sick, suggesting to Needle that the DNA is associated with the emerging illness somehow, but more testing is needed to confirm that the DNA does in fact belong to a pathogen, and what it is. Needle is certain it isn’t a virus—too many genes are present. His best guess is that it’s from an unfamiliar bacteria.

The uptick in illness doesn’t happen in a vacuum, either: Dog ownership in the U.S has gone up steadily, vaccinations have been disrupted in recent years, and the holiday season has led more people to board their dogs or bring them on travel and mingle them with other pets.

Respiratory disease in dogs wax and wane and the last few years have seen more “dramatic swings” where the disease can spread to other areas.

She suspects that the “pathogen soup” may be a mixture of diseases that are making dogs especially sick and prolonging their recovery.

Many dogs are treated unnecessarily with antibiotics even if they have a disease, which is why it’s hard for them to become resistant to standard treatment.

The sample collected could simply be too small, or taken from the wrong part of the body; the levels of the pathogen can change from day to day, or the dog’s body might have stopped shedding it by the time the sample was collected.

A new pathogen has been raised by veterinarians around the country, but there are many reasons why the test for canine respiratory illness could come back negative.

“We’ve been running respiratory panels to check about 20 different viruses and bacteria,” says Beyer, who runs South Des Moines Veterinary Center, “A lot of them are coming back negative.”

Similar to veterinarians in other states, Dr. Melissa Beyer says she’s not seeing dogs with an unidentified illness dying in high numbers. What’s puzzling is they can’t identify the causes of their illness.

I didn’t know my dog would soon be getting all manner of germs with his friends as he trotted off to his regularly scheduled doggy daycare.

I wondered if it was a high-risk situation. I did not know where the other dogs spent their time, even though they had been playing with them every week.

Over the past few months, many dogs in the US have fallen ill from a respiratory illness that almost cost Copper his life. The veterinarians are not sure what is causing it.

Oxygen support, IV fluids and antibiotics were received by copper in a week of isolation. After coming home, he had to use more antibiotics and an oxygen device because he couldn’t breathe. He was rushed to the hospital at one point for another night on oxygen because he was improving so fast, and is now back at home. Kevin said they were close to losing him a few times.

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