Don’t Panic: Local Vets Warn about ‘Mystery’ Canine Respiratory Illness

Dr. Brian Bourquin, owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, believes the current respiratory illness is no cause for hysteria. Instead, he sees it as a typical fall respiratory season.

Some people are drawing parallels between the reaction to this illness and the early response to COVID-19.

Dr. Camille Alander, medical director for BondVet, disagrees with the panic, stating that not everyone should keep their dogs inside and that refraining from walking dogs seems excessive.

Specialists have little information about the new illness and are uncertain if the reported cases are all the same disease.

Moreover, there is no definitive test for the illness, presenting symptoms akin to kennel cough but with a prolonged duration and risk of progressing to pneumonia, according to specialists.

Research conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory indicates that this illness has been under scrutiny for over a year.

A report from the lab indicated the presence of a previously unidentified bacteria, proposing a potential cause for the illness.

With an increase in samples sent to the UNH lab, specialists are optimistic about having more insight into the illness in the near future.

The prevalence of the illness in Massachusetts remains unknown as state officials are still working to collect and analyze data from various sources.

On the advice of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, dog owners are encouraged to exercise caution and avoid public places frequented by dogs.

Finally, veterinarians recommend limiting a dog’s exposure to potential illnesses by choosing secure facilities with up-to-date vaccination requirements for boarding and care.

Nick Stoico can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him @NickStoico.


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