The symptoms of this respiratory illness include coughing, runny nose, sneezing, lethargy, and loss of appetite. While the illness has been compared to kennel cough, veterinarians say that it is not necessarily an unusual problem or reason to panic 1. However, the recent increase in cases of respiratory illness in dogs has caused worry among pet owners.
Despite the appearance of the recent increase in cases of respiratory illness in dogs, it’s hard to measure because there is no central surveillance system to track disease outbreaks for animals. Veterinarians implore dog owners to remember that this is not necessarily an unusual problem or reason to panic. They also advise dog owners to keep their pets away from other dogs if they are showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
Researchers have identified a small portion of the genome of a previously uncharacterized bacteria that may be causing the illness. The UNH researchers used genetic sequencing of samples from 70 dogs in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts over the last two years 3. They found that the bacterium boasts a genome unusually rich in the DNA “letters” adenine and thymine and poor in cytosine and guanine, which is atypical for most organisms 2.
It’s important to take care of your pets and keep them healthy. If you notice any symptoms of respiratory illness in your dog, it’s best to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. With proper care and attention, we can help our furry friends stay healthy and happy.