Vet Sees More Than 170 Cases of Mysterious Dog Illness in One Month

In the downtown Raleigh, North Carolina area vets are seeing a major surge in a respiratory condition that's been popping up since July. There are also cases in Alabama.

178 cases have been seen at Care First Animal Hospital in Raleigh. 

The illness is a mystery cough and it's multiple different kinds of coughs. Some are wetter and some are evolving into pneumonia. It's spread dog to dog and highly contagious. It can be a common lung infection or pseudomonas. 

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Animal experts are calling this 'Canine Upper Respiratory Infectious Disease' which seems vague but it's a very 'new' illness. 

ABC13 News interviewed the lead vet at Care First Animal Hospital, Dr. Page Wades, and as she is seeing these cases she's growing more and more concerned!

"Some (coughs) are quiet. Some are really loud, they sound like a goose, which we usually attribute to kennel cough," Wages said. "Some coughs are wet, so some dogs are ending up with bronchitis, some with bronchopneumonia, some with full pneumonia. A lot of dogs have high fevers and have to be hospitalized. Some have been placed on oxygen."

No dogs have died yet and fortunately those vaccinated with bordetella and influenza don't have symptoms that are severe as the dogs that haven't been vaccinated.

Cases have been happening since July and it's mostly happening to dogs that go to dog parks, day camps, and social spots. It's highly contagious!

"Dogs tested have shown everything from a common lung infection to bordetella (also known as kennel cough), even in dogs who've been given the bordetella vaccine. Some dogs have gotten more severe cases, called pseudomonas."

While this is currently only being seen in the South it's important to know what the symptoms are so dog owners can watch out for a cough or worse. These cases of mysterious dog illness can easily spread to other regions as we've seen with illnesses like the dog flu. This Raleigh vet was very serious when interviewed that she has some big concerns at the number of cases she's seeing in her clinic. Pet owners should absolutely take this seriously.

Has your dog ever had a terrible cough? Please let us know in the comments. 

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