A novel respiratory illness affecting dogs across the nation has now reached close to New Jersey.
- Watch: This story of a homeless man and his furry friend will leave you teary-eyed
- Abuse to hope: An Arkansas dog’s journey to his forever home
- Man indicted for neglect of dog found near death in Bellevue apartment
- Every Dog Sitter’s Worst Nightmare Came True for This Woman—’Rest in Peace’
- The Power Of The Dog Ending Explained (In Detail)
The highly contagious disease, now in Pennsylvania, causes symptoms similar to canine influenza and kennel cough, and it can be fatal, officials say.
The first confirmed cases appeared around the month of August in Oregon, and it has spread to more than a dozen other states, now reaching the East Coast.
No cases have been reported in New Jersey, the state Department of Health said.
However, the department has received several inquiries from veterinarians “about potential canine respiratory cases that may match the described cases in other states,” said Nancy Kearney, health department spokesperson.
“Not all cases of respiratory illness in canines would be reported to the department, and at this time, a definitive pathogen has not been identified as the cause of the reported increase in canine respiratory cases in other states,” she added.
The illness still remains a mystery. As of now, no cause has been identified by researchers. Recent studies done by the University of New Hampshire’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have not been able to identify if the causing pathogen is a virus, bacteria or fungus.
“More testing and analysis is needed before this syndrome is connected to a specific cause,” the report said.
Additional diagnostics have been put into place at the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
This week, New Jersey’s Department of Health issued guidance to local health departments and animal health professionals.
How can parents protect their dogs?
Health centers and professionals across the country have outlined provisional precautionary measures:
- Avoid getting your dog in contact with other dogs. That entails avoiding high risk places, such as boarding kennels, dog parks and doggy day care.
- Don’t share your dog bowls and toys with other dogs.
- Make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations recommended by your veterinarian.
What are symptoms of canine respiratory illness?
- Decreased appetite
- Nose or eye discharge
- Labored breathing
Can it be COVID-19?
Laboratory samples has been tested for COVID-19 and have came out negative.
Is the new respiratory outbreak affecting cats, other animals?
Current evidence suggest that the epidemic has been limited to dogs only.
Are particular breeds more vulnerable?
Epidemiological data at this point is not showing higher prevalence in any breed.
Which states have confirmed cases?
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island