SEATTLE — There’s a new warning for dog owners about a mysterious and potentially deadly disease that’s spreading across the country.
Kevin Snekvik, executive director of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, said researchers are still trying to figure out what causes the disease.
The first report came from Oregon, where there are currently more than 100 cases. Snekvik said the disease is highly contagious and can spread easily between dogs.
“Your dog has a fever and feels sick. Normally they would like to play outside, but they become lethargic and want to lie down more. And as you mentioned the cough part, If it becomes more productive, there will be more wet coughs, like hacking coughs,” Sekvik said.
He said dog owners should be aware of the symptoms and pay close attention to their pets.
She said if your dog experiences any of these symptoms, be sure to take it to your veterinarian and have it sampled so it can be sent to the state lab for testing.
“What we’re seeing is a respiratory illness, with the cough coming back and the dog feeling unwell and showing symptoms similar to kennel cough,” he says.
Snekwik also recommends avoiding dog parks and congregating with other dogs you don’t know.
“Given her energy level, she wouldn’t necessarily end up in a situation like this. She’s a very social dog,” the dog’s owner, Kelsey Moberg, told KIRO 7. “That’s a little worrying.”
Snekvik also said he would encourage pet owners to avoid traveling with their pets during the holidays if possible.
“It looks like he might come to Indianapolis with me for a few weeks on vacation,” Emma Green said of taking her dog, Duncan, on holiday trips.