It was in October when a tan-and-brown mixed-breed called Copper was fighting for his existence. We are trying to know the race to find what’s making america’s dogs sick. It started on 7 October in Missouri dog, light hacking cough followed by wet cough, loss of appetite and lowered blood oxygen levels. He then went to the ICU at his local veterinary hospital, which was unsuccessful since antibiotics failed to assist.
In isolation, Copper received supplemental oxygen, IV fluids, and antibiotics for one week. Copper was also not out of the woods, having been given more antibiotics and an oxygen concentrator to use when breath became difficult, even after returning home. At one point, he had to be rushed back to the hospital for another night of oxygen support. Now, he is slowly stabilizing at home. “We almost lost him a number of times”, Copper’s owner Kevin Mahoney says.
For the past few months, a mysterious respiratory illness that almost killed Copper has been sickening dogs all over the United States. However, veterinarians are yet to understand what is causing it. Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.
Key Points of The Race to Find What’s Making America’s Dogs Sick
- Warning for Dog Owners: Mystery Illness Alert
- 12 States, Including Florida, Report Cases
- Nasal discharge
- Cough (initial symptom)
- Decreased appetite
- Fever in some cases
- Not like common dog viruses
- Not responding to normal respiratory infection treatments
- Progressing to pneumonia more commonly
- Spreads through nose-to-nose contact
- Potentially through shared water bowls
- Usual dog vaccines may not cover it
- Strongly recommend updating all vaccines
- Antibiotics showing positive response in some cases
- Limit exposure to other dogs
- Especially important during the holiday season
- Seek vet attention at the first sign of a wet, mucusy cough
- Importance of Timely Vet Visits Emphasized
- Surviving the Leaf Blower Liv Shot: A Testimony
The situation has been worst in Oregon. Since August, the state’s Department of Agriculture has received reports on weird canine respiratory infections. Over 200 dogs with the same condition have been reported in the state, with similar cases also appearing in many other states. However, the condition is akin to a common bacterial illness, called kennel cough, only that in most cases the symptoms tend to be more severe, persist for a much longer period, and are resistant to treatment with common antibiotics that are used for treatment of this condition The new disease has been fatal in some cases.
David Needle is a senior veterinary pathologist at the University of New Hampshire. He believes that the culprit was stalking dogs for some time. Needle’s team started investigating nasal and oral swabs from the sick dogs, who didn’t respond to the treatment in 2022, and no known cause of the disease. Upon screening twenty-one of the twenty-one initial animal samples found a small DNA sequence of a potential disease causing microbe.
In the most recent outbreak, they are screening dogs that have had long-standing coughs or sneezes, which is why they are checking some dogs from Oregon, to discover the same piece. Needle’s observations indicate that the DNA is present in some of the ill dogs, implying that the DNA is somehow linked to the emerging disease, although further testing is required to ascertain the pathogenic nature of the DNA and its actual identity. Needle is sure it’s not a virus – there are too many genes. He estimates that it probably comes from some unknown bacteria. Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.
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Needle says, “What we discovered … it appears to be one of those things that have coevolved with the host for tens of thousands of years.” The basis for this understanding is the type of bacteria that the DNA appears to be from and how the fragment compares with the genome of the most closely related bacteria which are highly host adapted. This presumed bacterium is also not showing up in any other animals or people today. Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.
He hypothesizes that having coexisted with dogs for a long time, the potential pathogen at some time evolved the ability to cause disease, “either through mutation or acquiring a gene from another bacteria.” He emphasizes that, as what they have found is not a previously studied type
Needle posits, the surge of this anomaly at this time, most probably is as a result of the summer season, where the dogs were outside having their fun, and socializing with other dogs. He observes that, in general, seasonal respiratory problems are not unusual in domestic dogs. It’s important to note that most canines with the unusual respiratory disease that have been recently screen for the DNA fragment had not tested positive for it, which means that if the fragment has anything to do with the illness, there could be other unidentified respiratory pathogens
Necropsy submissions of dogs that died due to this disease will also need to be tested in order to prove that the organism is present in the diseased areas of lungs observed, as per Andrea Cantu-Schomus, Director of communications for the Oregon Department of Agriculture that Another lab, Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, is also helping in conducting additional diagnostics for owners that want a necropsy done on their dogs who may be suspected to have died from this disease. However, the outcome of such work is not open to public. Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.
It is not only veterinary researchers who are searching for answers. Across the country worried about their dogs’ health have also met to share their resources. Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.
Currently, the Facebook group “2023 Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Tracking” has more than forty thousand users and the numbers are fast-growing. It consists of dog owners and dog professionals from around the country, including dog show competitors, trainers, groomers, walkers, dog daycare providers, and so forth. The group is trying to locate areas where dogs are or have been sick and follow-up on whether diseases have been transmitted through popular dog sporting events.
Similarly, dog owners are sharing tips on facility disinfection products and first-hand accounts of what doesn’t and does cure their pets that are sick with this suspected syndrome. This is because the owners of newly infected dogs can then convey this information to their veterinary treatment team. This unofficial citizen reporting is present in over 21 states, although the researchers have not verified the diagnosis. Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.
This disease is still unknown to dog owners, so needle urges them to be patient and keep searching for what is causing this illness. However, vaccine of any kind is still a far cry, but he hopes that the information from this paper will help veterinarians in affected regions to better understand treatment for sick dogs—and perhaps even change the approach. Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.
He explains that “the thing we think it might be would not be sensitive some antibiotics,” some antibiotics work only on the sensitive bacteria with a particular cell structure. If the bacteria can be identified or pin-pointed, then it will become closer to knowing which medicines can be used or ruled-out as irrelevant.
Inevitably, it is likely to be slow progress. The funding for research on respiratory diseases among animals is very little as compared to research funding for high priority human respiratory diseases for example, Covid 19 and the common cold. Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.
In addition, this outbreak also emphasizes the need to provide funding for state veterinarian’s offices and diagnostic labs. While the disease does not seem to affect any other species than dogs, he says there is two-third of new emerging human diseases from animals. The veterinary infrastructure protects the health of animals as well as public human health.
It is worth noting that the number of dogs known to be afflicted with the disease represents only a miniscule fraction of the overall dog population. Dog owners will also watch for signs of infection such as nasal or eye discharge, coughing and sneezing. They will ensure their dogs are fully vaccinated up to date as recommended by their vet. Such vaccines include bordetella, canine influenza, and parainfluenza. Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.
If owners live in areas with reported cases, they may also want to avoid large crowds of dogs at places such as dog parks, dog daycares, training classes and dog shows. However, there is no official map indicating where the disease is believed to show up – just statistics from the Facebook group or tips from local vets. Don’t forget to visit the latest news at The Best Dog House.
Got a sick dog at home? Besides, if your vet is facing an increase in unknown respiratory disease (meaning you are part of an outbreak), you can contact the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The lab is still in the initial stages of studying the condition and thus, the more samples that they can get a hold on, the better for the Needle and his team can get your veterinarian ready to send samples of dogs with the impacted one.
However, Needle says caution and not fear. Use of basic public health practices with your dog and follow veterinary news for updates hopefully coming in a month’s time. He predicts, “we are a month away from knowing so much more.” Are you enjoying the The race to find what’s making america’s dogs news? Please let us know.