What dog owners in Missouri and Illinois should know about the mysterious disease
MISSOURI (KSNF/KODE) – Pet owners in Missouri and Illinois may be starting to panic about a mysterious canine disease that is spreading across the United States according to new research data.
The disease is a harmful respiratory infection that veterinarians refer to as “aCIRD,” or atypical canine infectious respiratory disease. Respiratory illnesses in dogs are not new – many dog owners are familiar with kennel cough. But the latest rapidly spreading canine virus is different, with some dogs developing pneumonia, according to the MarketWatch Guides team, which recently conducted a study regarding this mysterious respiratory disease.
According to Louisiana State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the disease has now reached 16 states: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Oregon.
Health officials say a mysterious respiratory illness in canines may have started in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has documented more than 200 cases of the disease since mid-August.
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Now that the disease has officially spread to Illinois, neighboring Missouri could soon be added to that list. But for now, health officials say no cases of the mystery illness have been reported in the Show-Me State.
“This particular disease is a mystery because we haven’t identified its cause yet. It could be a virus or bacteria, it could be one of the things we’re already familiar with or something new. We don’t know,” said Dr. Lori Tiller, a clinical professor at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. “Enough so far, so the puzzle.”
While all dogs can contract the disease, Tiller says that dogs with underlying respiratory conditions or are immunocompromised are more likely to develop severe illness from it.
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There’s no clear consensus on exactly how CIRD spreads, but it’s likely the same disease that afflicts humans, through close contact and shared germs, says Dr. Angela Bell, an Ohio veterinarian.
“Respiratory infections typically spread through droplets and aerosolized secretions, so a dog can become ill simply by breathing the same air or touching the nose of a sick dog,” Dr. Bell said.
MarketWatch guides have some tips for pet owners in Missouri that can help them stay calm and take action when it comes to their dogs’ health.
- Avoid unknown dogs – The more contacts your dog has, the greater the risk of contracting an infected dog.
- Avoid contact with sick dogs, especially nose-to-nose contact.
- Avoid water bowls and toys shared by many dogs.
- Pay attention to sending your dog to a kennel.
- Use caution when taking your dog out in public for long periods — for example: restaurants and dog stores.
You can read the full report prepared by MarketWatch Guides, here, regarding the new respiratory disease in dogs.